Action 52


Review by Joe Santulli

Active Enterprises


Graphics: 2

Sound: 1

Gameplay: 1

Overall: 1

Here's the good news: there really ARE 52 games in this single cartridge. Also, the game has a nice intro with hip-hop sampled music, speech synthesis and a very excited Cheetahman. Now the bad news: you'll be hard-pressed to find any of these 52 games worth playing. They range from pretty bad to very very bad. Common issues across games include poor graphics and sound, terrible collision detection, and dull gameplay. Some games have specific problems, such as enemies that suddenly appear on top of you.

The games have some pretty interesting titles, and you'll probably just want to try each one out which ensures that you'll get at least an hour of gameplay out of this one. Titles include Fire Breather, Starevil, Illuminator, G-Force, Ooze, Silver Sword, Critical Bypass, Jupiter Scope, Alfredo, Operation Full Moon, Dam Busters, Thrusters, Haunted Hill, Chill Out, Sharks, Megalonia, French Baker, Atmos Quake, Meong, Space Dreams, Streemerz, Spread Fire, Bubblegum Rosy, Micro Mike, Underground, Rocket Jock, Non Human, Cry Baby, Slashers, Crazy Shuffle, Fuzz Power, Shooting Gallery, Lollipops, Evil Empire, Sombreros, Storm Over The Desert, Mash Man, They Came, Lazer League, Billy Bob, City Of Doom, Bits And Pieces, Beeps And Blips, Manchester, Boss, Dedant, Hambos Adventures, Time Warp, Jigsaw, Ninja Assault, Robbie Robot, and Cheetahmen.

The game that seems to be the marquee title is the last one, Cheetahmen. This game has an actual introduction and cut-scenes and was eventually given a dedicated sequel, Cheetahmen II. In this game your character travels from right to left (sometimes up ladders) killing enemies, most of which are completely indistinguishable. At one point I think I was being attacked by a giant purple dildo. There are pits that you don't really fall into in as much as touch and die. You have an attack button and a jump button but when you jump and attack, you actually stop in mid-air - an undocumented Cheetahman special power. If you attack on the far right of the screen you can see half of your body on the far left. And this... THIS is the marquee title.

Other games that have interesting names return similar disappointments. I loved the title "Evil Empire" and found the game features the tiniest characters ever in a video game, kind of like a shrunken Lode Runner but just shooting, no hole digging. Also there are many times when you're in a spot where you can only go one way and there's a bad guy hanging in your way, ie "certain death".'

"French Baker" sounded interesting, and why was I thinking it would be like the old Atari game "Piece o' Cake". At first glance it looked more like Burgertime, I'm alright with that. What I'm not alright with is that it turns out to be yet another platform/shooter with more indistinguishable enemies, most of which appear a single pixel away from you, ie "certain death".

And so it goes, for fifty-something titles. As intriguing as the thought of playing a "multi-cart" of NES games might be, you'd be much better off grabbing one of those pirate games which actually have decent NES and Famicom titles within.


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Last updated: Sunday, February 27, 2005 11:47 AM