Title: Action 52
Publisher: Action Enterprises
Date Published: 1992
Platforms: NES

Action 52 was an unlicensed NES game which an enterprising company known only as Action Enterprises foisted upon the world in 1992. Action 52 is sort of like those multiple-game carts that one can find in various places, mostly in the video game black market, but unlike those carts which generally contain many old games illegally combined into one, Action 52 contains 52 completely new games. Unfortunately, not one contains a scrap of redeeming value. Most games, especially the sidescrollers, appear as if the programmers simply changed the background and the sprites (which all look as if they had been resized several times in Microsoft Paint), and called it a new game. The controls are abysmal, as one can find out by attempting to jump in a sidescroller only to have your character merrily walk into a bottomless hole.

Action 52 contained such memorable games as Ooze, in which you controlled a small, stout little man somewhat resembling Link's sprite from the first Legend of Zelda game. Ooze was a sidescroller game in which you could jump straight up and down, move horizontally with some difficulty, and watch and enjoy as nondescript green things ran over you. Another interesting game was Fuzz Power, which was the same thing as Ooze, but you controlled a small man covered in hair down to his toes. If you got hit by one of a series of mobile cannons, your hair went away and you were completely naked. If you got hit again, you lost. No story or explanation was offered for the small man or yeti's attempt to evade the cannons.

Of course, the best thing about Action 52 is that it retailed for $200. That's right, two hundred dollars for a cart containing 52 minigames, where each one is entertaining for as long as it takes to run into the first bottomless pit. Needless to say, it was not a hit and the game is fairly rare. Emulating the game is a difficulty as many emulators such as Nesticle and Nester choke and die on it. FCE Ultra does a passable job, however.

An interesting sidenote is that Action Enterprises ran a contest in which the prize was the seemingly random sum of $104,000. To enter, one had to complete the daunting task of finishing Ooze. Ostensibly you would then take a photo of the final screen and send it in to Action Enterprises. Unfortunately, Ooze had a fatal glitch that made it unfinishable. Personally, I don't doubt this was all part of Action Enterprises' grand plan as I can't imagine them amassing that much capital off this shoddy game.

All the games in Action 52 appear to be incomplete, still in their beta status. Some of them crash, most have bad collision detection, and many of them just appear to be incomplete. (e.g.: Non Human only has one level; some of the games have no music; the difficulty level is horribly unbalanced; some of the games glitch up when you complete the third level or so...) Apparently they've never heard of playtesting...

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