Action 52 isn’t just one all-encompassing bad game. It’s fifty-two sorta, kinda, almost barely games, compiled for the player’s bemusement.
Some of the games, like Haunted Hill, are merely bad. Others, like Meong, are impossible to progress beyond the first level, due to the game’s love affair with glitches. Think of any attribute of a poorly developed title – busted controls, go-nowhere progression, lazy level design, squalid graphics – then apply them liberally across Action 52‘s coding. Such waste!
Even though each of the games are “different,” most of them fall into the platformer or shoot-em-up category, so there’s not even a wide variety of genres (though perhaps this is a blessing – why suffer through poorly made RPGs or puzzle games?). Active Enterprises then had the gall to charge 200 American dollars upon its release, as if these game-like substances were worth 4 dollars a piece. Action 52 isn’t worth the brief time it takes to illegally download it, let alone physical currency. Don’t seek it out. Repress your curiosity. Leave it be. If a cartridge could destroy worlds, it would be Action 52 and it would destroy yours without hesitation. It is the worst NES game (s) of all time.
Action 52 is a multi-game collection so bad, they made it twice. In 1993, FarSight Technologies brought Action 52 to the Genesis, presumably to punish Sega for their sins. We’ve been told the Genesis version is superior to the NES version in every way, but just about anything is superior to the “absolute worst anything you’ve ever-ed ever.”
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Active Enterprises
GENRE: Mostly platformer and shoot-em-up.
RELEASE DATE: 1991
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Genesis