Written by  :  WWWWolf (453)
Written on  :  Jun 04, 2004
Rating  :  0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars

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The most beautifully unsuccessful game ever.

The Good

Well, I like bad games. Action 52 is *funny*. None of the games are good. Some are hilariously bad. Some are just boring, but in general, the games are just indescribably funnily bad.

Generally speaking, the games are very good in that they tell me that even I can, without any boasting or even any special proof, write better games!

The Bad

All of the games are either shoddily coded, ugly, sound awful, badly designed, or a combination of thereof - and if any of the games doesn't manage to annoy you at all, it *will* bore you to death. There aren't a single "high-quality" game in the collection, none are better than tech demos written by neophyte NES coders after a week of training. Unless you happen to like bad games, this collection sure isn't going to help you.

The Bottom Line

Once upon a time, there was an unlicensed NES developer called Active Enterprises. They got a bright idea to make a game collection for NES. 52 games in all. They sort of made that thing. And then they tried to sell it to unsuspecting public at 200 USD price tag (the price was later considerably lowered for reasons that should be fairly obvious).

Well, now, thanks to the ROM distribution channels and several helpful websites, everyone can check this game out. The Active Enterprises folks probably won't dare to step out to protect their copyrights - they might be stoned to death by angry NES fans. Not that Action 52 would need any special copyright protection, it keeps people far away it by its own merits already.

This is not a pirate cart - this is a collection of 52 original games. Most of them are simple one-screen things, many even feature scrolling. Most are some kinds of space shooters, driving games, or platform games. Uh... well, that's about that.

And yup, if I say it's original, it's original all right. All of the games are absolutely, unbearably, categorically horrible. I'm actually quite speechless. So horrible that they're funny - well, they're funny if you just downloaded the ROM, they sure aren't funny if you actually spent your pocket money on the cartridge (unless you get really drunk before playing, or got the bright idea to sell the cart to some collector a few decades later - I hear original carts can be valuable these days).

All in all, the whole thing is charmingly bad. The only real reason to hate the makers would be the obvious money-making scam they tried. The games themselves are actually chuckle-worthy if you happen to like to play really bad games every now and then.

This game is best experienced with a company of people who happen to like bad games. Those who don't like bad games may want to do what many people have suggested - get a bunch of people together, and start a drinking game of some sort (just beware of alcohol poisoning!)