**

Tolerance Level: Action 52

I remember back when portable gaming was in its Game Boy Advance years and I was obsessed with games such as Pokémon Ruby, Sonic Advance 3 and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. My cousin came to my house and brought with him his collection of games. We mostly spent our time slaving away at Pokémon, trading via link cable in order to fill up our Pokédex's and seeing who could level up the fastest. But what I do remember in particular was that he had a cartridge with him that he had bought on holiday, in Spain... I think. I thought this cartridge was so awesome when I played it back then. It had what must have been 76 games on it, maybe more. They were good games as well, such as Super Mario Advance 2, as well as some other lesser known Game Boy Advance titles and with them, a tonne of old NES and Game Boy games. Nowadays I know that this was actually a pirated multicart, but the games actually played and saved (if there was an option to do so) perfectly. But the reason why something like this is illegal is because the people who used to distribute these type of 76-in-1 multicarts had no permission from the creators of the games to do so and they were probably sold at discount price as well, so none of the money went to the creators or Nintendo. Naughty.

An example of one of many GBA multicarts. Just bask in its quality.

However, back in the NES day, companies who created their own NES games seemed to find ways to release them without getting permission from the console market. And in 1991 a company called Active Entertainment released their own unlicensed multicart called 'Action 52'. It was advertised as some kind of value for money, '52 new and original exciting games for 199 dollars' (that would be about 130 British pounds these days) but I think I'd rather have one of those pirated Game Boy Advance multicarts instead of Action 52, at least you are
reassured that some of the games are good. Action 52, however is a fucking catastrophe.

Because I am so incredibly 1337, I have had been able to play the Action 52 on my Sega Dreamcast using an emulator. When you start the game, a big menu screen with a list of games (kind of like that pirated Game Boy Advance Multicart I mentioned) comes up. This list spans across 3 pages. When you select a game and press the 'Begin' option, it sends you straight in with no instructions on controls (although I presume the original box came with instructions). But after playing more of the games on the Action 52, this becomes the least of your worries.
Basically all of the games are space shooters. These were probably the easiest ones to make... so they probably thought that if they put a tonne in nobody would notice. Wrong. The first one, 'Starevil' is tolerable... well except for the stupid obstacle that appears literally one microsecond into gameplay, meaning, unless you've played this before, you must have the lightening fast reflexes of DC Comic's The Flash to dodge it first time. Putting this obstacle right at the very start of the game was mean, but I'll let this one slide, because Action 52 begins to really take the piss. Action 52 was rushed. There is no doubt about that, anybody can tell. Most of the games are filled with glitches that render them simply unplayable. Bosses sometimes don't show up meaning you are stuck and have to reset the game, going down a dead end means you can't go back so you are stuck and have to reset the game (again) and enemies that are not even near you can kill you... but in one of the game you can walk through spikes... The will to live is gradually leaving my body... I can feel it.

There it goes... straight out of my body. I've just got back from playing Cheetahmen. This is the one that the creators of Action 52 seemed to be the most proud of. They had a comic for Cheetahmen and plans for an action figure range. Nobody ever saw them though and if they did have action figures released in the shops no one would have bought them anyway. But yeh, I need to stop putting off the inevitable. This game sucks... hard. You play as some deformed cheetah dudes who are supposed to be really awesome and strong but they all suck and they die when they hit thin air. But at least it has a plot... but I've forgotten what it was. I've heard that there is an incredibly rare cartridge knocking around on earth somewhere of 'Cheetahmen 2' which is apparently more unplayable than the first one.


If Action 52 had its own 'skank', this would be it.

So when it comes down to it... Action 52 is fucking horrible... although it isn't completely unplayable, it is just about there. I think the main reason why I hate it so much is because the morons who created it tried to make out Action 52 was the tits but frankly it is a poor effort for something that was so incredibly expensive. Maybe if you had a bunch of crap games on a cartridge and sold it in Poundland then maybe you'd get what you pay for, but this is not what many people paid for.
I have this friend called Josh who is also on the magazine and he made this game for his ICT coursework where you are Pikachu and you are running through a field of Snorlax's, Golem's, trees and rocks before duelling with a Charizard on the third and final level. I would play this game any day over Action 52 because it is actually quality and enjoyable... I'm talking about a game made by a teenager in his spare time with no motive behind it other than enjoyment. Josh's game is one game with 3 short levels. Action 52 is 52 games made by a bunch of adults. You do the maths.
There is also a version of Action 52 for the Sega Mega Drive that was actually not too bad but I think it was made by different people, which explains a lot. So finally...


Tolerance Level: 2.5/10
'Action 52 sucks throbbing donkey cock.'

You'd have to really hold a gun to my head
before I play this poop again.

 
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