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Action 52 Database

Action 52 (NES)

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Action 52
[[Action52Title|250px]]
Action 52 title scren

Release Date

September 1991

Developer

Active Enterprises

Publisher

Active Enterprises

Genre

Multi-cart

Plataform

NES

Action 52 is an unlicensed multicart consisting of 52 individual and original video games, released in September 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System console by Active Enterprises. It initially retailed for the comparatively high price of $199 (or "less than $4 for each game"), and became notorious among gamers for the abysmal quality of its games. Many video game collectors value Action 52 for its notoriety and rarity.

The cartridge states that it contains 52 "new and original exciting games". The games cover a variety of genres, although the most common are scrolling shooters and platform games. Among the games is the Cheetahmen, Active's attempt at creating a franchise similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Action 52 is often cited as one of the worst games ever made.

OverviewEdit

Action52Menu

Action 52's menu screen

As the name might suggest, this is a multicart containing 52 action-packed games. However, it has received much criticism for the poor quality of its games, with some common errors and glitches between the games being sprite flickering, poor controls, reusing engines and the ending just being the player being sent back to level 1. Notably, it also contains 17 space shooters, which is almost a third of the cartridge. The intro uses a PCM sample of Rob Base's "It Takes Two". One game, Fire Breathers, can only be played with two players and two other games, Alfredo and Jigsaw, won't work on the majority of the cartridges that were released. Numerous games crash or become unplayable when reaching a certain part of the game; an example of this being Atmos Quake, which, due to a glitch which messes up the level design of level 5, makes that level impossible to complete. Many have also criticised the price of the cartridge, having originally sold for $199. All of the games are two-player compatible, with all but Fire Breathers using an alternating player system like in Super Mario Bros.. The menu screen was taken from Supervision 52-in-1, another (pirated) 52-in-1 multicart presumably made in 1989. (Two of the games listed are called Galaxian 1989 and Exerion 1989.) This appears to be especially likely due to a prototype version of Action 52, where the menu (apart from the game names) is identical to that of the 52-in-1 and the menu itself uses graphics from The Goonies, one of the games included on it.[1] As well as this, Fuzz Power seems to have taken some inspiration (the graphics in particular) from Adventure Island, which was included on the 52-in-1. Another hint may be that, when the player quits a game and returns to the menu screen, in both multicarts the selection always goes back to game 05.

There was also a competition to win $104,000 by completing level 5 of Ooze. However, this was later found to be impossible as the carts that had been released at the time crashed after level 2 of that game. The game also actually has 6 levels as opposed to 5, with the ending giving the player a code to send to Active. Incidentally, it's also the only game on the cartridge to have an ending, and one of only two to have a proper title screen, the other being Storm Over the Desert.

Notably, one of the members of Active Enterprises, Vince Perri, was inspired to make Action 52 after seeing his son play a pirated 40-in-1 multicart, with the intention of Action 52 being a legal version of it.[2]

List of GamesEdit

  1. Fire Breathers
  2. Star Evil
  3. Illuminator
  4. G-Force Fighters
  5. Ooze
  6. Silver Sword
  7. Critical Bypass
  8. Jupiter Scope
  9. Alfredo and the Fetucini's
  10. Operation Full Moon
  11. Dam Busters
  12. Thrusters
  13. Haunted Halls of Wentworth
  14. Chill Out
  15. Sharks
  16. Megalonia
  17. French Baker
  18. Atmos Quake
  19. Meong
  20. Space Dreams
  21. Streemerz
  22. Spread Fire
  23. Bubble Gum Rosie
  24. Micro Mike
  25. Underground
  26. Rocket Jockey
  27. Non-Human
  28. Cry Baby
  29. Slashers
  30. Crazy Shuffle
  31. Fuzz Power
  32. Shooting Gallery
  33. Lollipops
  34. Evil Empire
  35. Sombreros
  36. Storm Over the Desert
  37. Mash Man
  38. They Came...
  39. Lazer League
  40. Billy-Bob
  41. City of Doom
  42. Bits and Pieces
  43. Beeps and Blips
  44. Manchester Beat
  45. Boss
  46. Dedant
  47. Hambo's Adventures
  48. Time Warp Tickers
  49. Jigsaw
  50. Ninja Assault
  51. Robbie and the Robots
  52. Cheetahmen

TriviaEdit

  • Most games are inspired from another games released for the NES.
  • Alfredo and Jigsaw make the game crash on real hardware. Only certain emulators are capable of playing the game properly.
  • Cheetahmen was planned to have a sequel, Cheetahmen II, which was never released, but copies of the game were found and distributed.
  • If you play the game for over an hour it becomes very hot and begins to smell of burning plastic.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Evolution of the Action 52
  2. Action 52: Development

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