- Action 52 (1993 on Genesis)
Description official descriptions
Action 52 features 52 different games in a single cartridge. The games are selected from one of three menus and are mostly side scrolling, platform or shooter action games. The games included are:
- Fire Breathers
- G-Force Fighters
- Silver Sword
- Critical Bypass
- Jupiter Scope
- Alfredo and the Fettucinni's
- Operation Full-Moon
- Dam Busters
- Haunted Hills of Wentworth
- The French Baker
- Space Dreams
- Bubblegum Rosie
- Rocket Jockey
- Cry Baby
- Crazy Shuffle
- Fuzz Power
- Shooting Gallery
- The Evil Empire
- Storm Over the Desert
- They Came From Outer Space
- Laser League
- City of Doom
- Bits and Pieces
- Beeps and Blips
- Manchester Beat
- Hambo's Adventures
- Time Warp Tickers
- Ninja Assault
- Robbie and the Robots
- The Cheetahmen (The Action Gamemaster)
- Animals: Cats
- Animals: Insects
- Animals: Pigs
- Characters: Clowns, Mimes, and Harlequins
- CheetahMen series
- Gameplay feature: Dragon flying / riding
- Gameplay feature: Scuba diving / Snorkeling
- Genre: Fixed-screen shoot 'em up
- Genre: Scrolling shoot 'em up
- Protagonist: Female
- Theme: Ninjas
- Theme: Vampires
Credits (NES version)
Average score: 8% (based on 7 ratings)
Average score: 0.8 out of 5 (based on 46 ratings with 6 reviews)
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!
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!)
NES · by WWWWolf (444) · 2004
Nothing at all
Well, this game sucks a looong way... if you can stand this game more than 10 minutes... you are a real hero. It lacks spirit, graphics, sound effects, music... but the most important of all... it lack FUN
The Bottom Line
A horrible compilation of 52 horrible "wanna-be-games"... !! Awful !
NES · by Nicolas Agudelo (5) · 2004
When you first insert the cartridge, there is some brief digitized sound that is actually of reasonable quality for the NES.
Yikes, where to begin? Everything in all 52 games is bad. The menus and title screens are very simple and generic looking, but since 52 games are on a single cartridge space needs to be saved somehow so I could probably have forgiven them for this had everything else been better. Graphically, the games themselves are poor at best, with some of the games being worse than downright awful. Screenshots don't fully do the game justice of how bad it looks; not only are sprites and backgrounds poorly drawn, but the animation is poor and tends to be quite choppy and flickery. Sound is pretty minimal; no interesting sound effects or music are to be found anywhere in any of the 52 games! Most of the games can be pretty buggy, with some that will just randomly crash outright, while others seem to go on for a while and then enemies just stop appearing and you're left with nothing more to do. Collision detection can also be pretty poor.
And the worst aspect? The controls and gameplay! Many of the 52 games are pretty much unplayable due to extremely poor controls. For example, in several of the platform games (such as Fuzz Power or Non-Human), I've been completely unable to get past the first screen. There is a pit I keep falling in as jumping in a direction other than straight up is pretty much impossible. Ok, next. Games like Micro Mike are so fast that you'll lose your first few lives before you even realize the game has begun. So much for that. Fire Breathers is supposed to be like Atari 2600 Combat, I guess, but there is nothing to do or hide behind; seems basically like a programming exercise. Dam Busters seems to have absolutely no point I've been able to figure out. And of the remaining games, the amazingly poor controls tend to make them extremely unfun in addition to the complete lack of variety and interest they posses. The Action Gamemaster (The Cheetahmen) was supposed to be the "flagship" game of the lot where you can allegedly fight all of the bad guys from the other 51 games, but I never got anywhere in this due to a combination of lack of interest and the usual poor controls (They even went through the trouble of creating a short hack of a story for this one).
The Bottom Line
This isn't just the worst game ever made, it's the 52 worst games ever made! You actually have to see this to believe how bad it truly is, I can't think of any way to convey in words how poor the games in Action 52 are. It's truly awe inspiring in it's awfulness. I thought it might be good to make fun of (kinda like a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" of videogames), but as that's not much of a challenge it's not even good for that. Since this game is quite rare, it seems to sell for a high price often; makes an interesting addition for NES collectors, but otherwise is useless.
NES · by Servo (57056) · 2004
There was a contest held for this game. If you were to beat level 5 of Ooze, you could enter in a drawing to win $104,000. Unfortunately, Ooze crashes after level 3 making the contest impossible to win.
The creator of Action 52, Vince Perri, got the inspiration to make this game when he saw his son playing an illegal Taiwanese multicart with 40 games on it.
The music loop in the intro is taken from Rob Base's song "It Takes Two".
Information also contributed by Dracula_Marth.
Related Sites +
Video review of Cheetahmen & Action 52 (WARNING : Language)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews <i>Cheetahmen</i> on the cartridge <i>Action 52</i> on NES, <i>Cheetahmen II</i> on NES and <i>Action 52</i> on Genesis.
Video review of the first 51 games of Action 52 (WARNING: Language)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews the first 51 games of <i>Action 52</i> for NES.
- MobyGames ID: 7762
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Servo.
Game added November 17th, 2002. Last modified September 7th, 2023.