|Players||up to 2 (only in Fire Breathers)|
JPN - N/A
USA - 1991
EUR - N/A
In 1991, a company call Action released its first out of only 3 games. This was supposed to be “the beginning” for this “innovative” company. It had planned big things and many “interesting” unlicensed products. Of course after playing Action 52, it is easy to see why the company went bankrupt pretty fast.
Now here is the idea: release 52 action games on one cartridge! It sounds like a sweat deal but there is one problem. Not a single one of these “games” is good. Every single game is terrible, weird, bizarre, cringe worthy, badly designed, frustrating, or all of the above. Just from the cheesy intro “Lights! Camera! Action 52” (with a picture of a cheetah-man) and weird digitized voices, you know you are in for one pure turd.
First let’s start with the technical aspects of the game. The graphics are skimpily awful and make Atari 2600 games look like next-gen games. Everything looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint in under a minute! The NES may not have the best palette but come on! Some of the stuff is so bizarre looking that it isn’t even recognizable to what it is. It’s as if the graphic designers were on drugs when they made these.
Music and sound effects are pretty terrible as well. All the music is just random notes and badly pitched songs. Some of the music is so annoying that you will have blood pouring out of your ears. Sound effects aren’t much better and are just basic bloops and bleeps.
And now the gameplay: I must say that this is simply the worst NES game of all time. It’s worse than every bad LJN/Acclaim game combined. In case you don’t get it, Action 52 is a minigame collection with 52 different games. Each one is plagued with bad controls and the same stuff over and over and over and over and over! Many of the games feel incarnations of previous game with different visuals. Some of them freeze at a certain point in the game. In fact, half the games seem to be generic shooters. All the games, if they were standalone, would be contestants for worst game ever made. But the fact that there are 52 s**ty games coming at you at once is just insulting anyone who is a gamer.
So how bad are these games? Well I’m going to go through each and every one of them, describing them in one sentence.
Fire Breather is a stupid 2-on-2 shooter with dragons, where the AI is so bad that it doesn’t even move. Star Evil is an absolutely evil space shooter, because you can’t even get by the first obstacle at the beginning unless you hold the D-pad down in the MENU! Illuminator is this stupid Donkey Kong rip off with only 5 ladders to climb, and tediously darkens at random. G-force Frigate is a terrible 3 level Gradius clone with no power ups and is so easy, you can just keep firing and win. Ooze is really strange, as it is a terrible platformer that takes place in a booger-like environment and you shoot boogers with smiley faces on them. It also demonstrates the horrendous jumping control in the game where if you hold the jump button you can’t change your direction in mid-air. Silver Sword is another shooter, but this time you are a knight shooting badly drawn cliché medieval creatures in a Microsoft Paint environment with silver arrows. Critical Bypass is another shooter! Except this one isn’t even inspired; you are just a blue blob shooting blobs on a grayscale background. Jupiter Scope is another freaking shooter where you shoot meteors. And that is it! Alfredo is a game that doesn’t even load without a trusty Game Genie. But playing it isn’t even worth it because it is just some guy bashing hot dogs that kill you with a frying pan. Operation Full Moon is ANOTHER generic shooter, only this time you are a tank. In Dam Busters, you play as a teddy bear on a badly drawn dam shooting aliens and panda bears. Take a guess at what Thrusters is. Surprise, A SPACE SHOOTER! Haunted Hill takes place in a 2 color palette mansion where you play as some random girl shooting ghosts with your hands and jumping over pits with the slowest controls since Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Chill Out is a really bad ladder climb game where you shoot overweight Eskimos. Remember that terrible Jaws game by LJN? Well Sharks is a clone of that game and IT IS FREAKING WORSE! Megalonia is another bad Gradius clone with no power ups; except the backgrounds look a little better than Illuminator. French Baker is a game staring a French baker in another ladder climb game where you’re shooting walking food and walking appliances. Atmos Quake is another freaking shooter! How many shooters can you put in one cartridge Action? Meong is this stupid grid game where you scroll up a gray grid with many invisible dead spots that blow you up. Take a guess at what Space Dreams is. Only difference is that you shoot brightly colored numbers and teddy bears. Streemerz is some idiotic bionic commando rip-off where all you do is go up, and go up, and go up. Do I even have to explain what Spread Fire is? Bubblegum Rosy is this opium trip, uninspired platformer where your bubblegum fire weapon does no damage, and has an impassible jump halfway through the level. You control this naked baby in Micro Mike, and you just shoot these really bizarre looking balls. In Underground, you climb ladders underground (obviously) and the collision detection is so bad that you can climb the ladders without being on them. Rocket Jock is another shooter but now they are really getting weird; you control some cowboy on a rocket shooting floating cows. The game Non Human is a very fitting name; I really had NO IDEA what the F***K I WAS PLAYING! WHAT THE HELL WAS IT THAT I JUST PLAYED! You are some vampire thing, jumping in a puke green environment, shooting nonsensical enemies, and the pits are filled with purple floating heads with sun glasses on them. In Cry Baby, you just play as some baby crawling around a hospital shooting nurses and guys with derbies with a squirt gun. Slashers is an uninspired beat-em-up with the same background and choppy animation that makes the characters look like they are humping each other. Crazy shuffle is this lame maze game where you spontaneously die. Fuzz Power features a nude guy with long hair in the forest killing hair dryers. Shooting Gallery is exactly what it says. NEXT! Lollipops is a platformer taking place in this odd candy world where you play as some green dude bashing living candy with a green lollipop; die and you turn into lollipops. Evil Empire is another ladder climb game with graphics and gameplay not even worthy of the Atari 2600. Sombreros is another shooter where you are some construction road guy shooting box cars and dog poo on a road. Storm Over Desert is a tank battle game where your tank moves pitifully slow and one of the enemies looks suspiciously like a giant Saddam Hussein. Mash Man is this game featuring a strange old man with giant feet bashing random meaningless objects that will make you say “WTF ARE THOSE!” Uhhggg…the shooters are getting old, and guess what They Came is? Oh and I am sure you have an idea of what Lazer League is; the best part of this one is that the enemies turn into turds when you kill them. Billy Bob looks a lot like Indiana Jones; but the design is so bad that you can’t even pass the first screen because the jump you need to make is too high. In City of Doom, you climb up a building; think Spiderman only with no fun or inspiration. By the way, windows kill you. Bits and Pieces takes place in a graveyard and you need to dodge monsters coming at you; the only problem, you can’t shoot them. Beeps and Blips plays exactly like They Came; it even has the same looping exact music! Manchester makes no sense; it looks like it is supposed to be some sort of Shinobi clone except only with music boxes for platforms and the only enemies are generic guys that stand there and pieces of s**t that fly at you. Boss puts you in a city as a sneaking lizard and you just run and shoot badly drawn lizards. Dead Ant is ANOTHER SHOOTER! HOW MANY OF THESE #$%!ing SHOOTERS CAN ACTION PUT IN ONE GAME! Hambo is this pig climbing ladders in another generic Donkey Kong Rip off; but the graphics and collision detection are so bad you will want to turn it off immediately. Time Warp Tickers makes the other games seem normal; you are this pair of fingers running around a modern art project and you just flick these snakes. When you die, you get a message that says TIME. I just can’t describe the game Jigsaw. Ninja Assault is a beat-em up featuring Ninjas; I have to be honest this one isn’t that bad, but it does get old really fast. Robbie and the Robots is another freaking shooter…..uuuuuggggggghhhhh….. And now the Grand Finale, Cheetah Men. This is the only game that had ANY effort put into it at all. It features an intro explaining how the player gets sucked into the TV and meets the Cheetah Men. This trio is essentially a BattleToads rip-off. Gameplay wise, this is the closest all 52 games even come to being good. But that is not saying much; the game is still pretty terrible. The collision detection is really, really poor. As a result, progressing in the game is tedious. And to make it worse, halfway through the game, it freezes! What a piece of Crap! As the Angry Nintendo Nerd would put it, “WHAT A S**TLOAD OF F**K!”
Action 52 is absolutely abominable. All 52 games suck, and are not worth playing even once. And the worst part is that this collection when it was first released cost 200 FREAKING AMERICAN DOLLARS! Do you have any idea how much money that was back in 1991?! Even today that would be overpriced for a game. Buying Action 52 is like buying a bag of s**t, mixed in with some 2 year old barber hair on the surface, and some stale potatoes on the bottom. Whatever you do, DON’T BUY THIS GAME! IT IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST PIECE OF PUKED UP TURDS YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE! And that score is too high. After playing Action 52, the expectations for all games have been set very, very low.