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Action 52

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Action 52

Action 52 (NES) box art

Developer(s)
Active Enterprises
(NES)
FarSight Studios
(Sega Genesis)
Publisher(s)
Active Enterprises
Platform(s)
Release date(s)
NES
1991
(North America)
Genesis
1993
Genre(s)
Various
Mode(s)
Single-player
multi-player

Action 52 is a unlicensed video game developed by Active Enterprises in September 1991 for the NES and in May 1993 for the Sega Genesis. The Super Nintendo version wasn't released. It initially retailed for the comparatively high price of US$199 (or "less than $4 for each game") and became notorious among gamers for the abysmal quality of its games. Many video game collectors value Action 52 for its notoriety and rarity. Both the NES and Genesis versions of Action 52 were reviewed by The Angry Video Game Nerd on April 30 and June 9, 2010.

Some of the complaints that the Nerd has about Action 52 are the graphics, the B button controlling your jumping rather than A, dying in midair before even hitting the ground, the graphics, and the frequent amount of space shooters. 

PrototypeEdit

In 2010, a prototype cartridge of Action 52 surfaced, owned by movie and video games distributor Greg Pabich. Originally, Vince Perri had proposed a deal with Pabich asking him if he would be interested in working for Active Enterprises as a business partner. At this time, Perri only had a few prototype cartridges and not the final product. For various reasons, Pabich turned down the offer, but not before leaving with one of the prototypes in his possession, which was stored in his warehouse for over twenty years before it was "rediscovered".

The prototype itself contains numerous differences from the final Action 52 cartridges. It contains minor text differences for the game titles as well as different color backgrounds for the game selection menus. The final version contains the words "Action 52" in its header and copyright information in its footer. The prototype simply contains section numbers in each menu screen's header. The code for Action 52 appears to be heavily based upon the pirate multicart 52 in 1. This is evident due the menu template in the Action 52 prototype being identical to that of 52 in 1. However, the biggest difference between the prototype and the final game is that while the final copy contains the game Cheetahmen, the prototype does not. In its place is a completely different Cheetahmen game titled "Action Gamer" (presumingly taken from the main character the Action Gamemaster in Cheetahmen). Action Gamer features only two levels, one of which is incomplete.

On November 11, 2011, Greg Pabich publicly released reproductions of Action Gamer, calling it "Cheetahmen: The Creation". This special package contains a sealed version of the game for collectors, an unsealed copy, a reproduction of the original Cheetahmen comic book, a Cheetahmen music CD, special edition T-Shirts and a poster.

In August 2012, one of the four original Action 52 developers surfaced and surprised the gaming community with their find, their very own original boxed Action 52 NES prototype cartridge, the only other Action 52 prototype known to exist. Along with never-before-seen original Action 52 and Cheetahmen posters and artwork, they posted an eBay auction selling the items for a $97,000 Buy It Now option or Best Offer. The auction generated over 10,000 views and 50 offers. They have since created a blog documenting the auction, the prototype, and their part in the development of the Action 52 NES cartridge. Their version of the story of Action 52, Active Enterprises, Vince Perri, and the other developers can be read there.

Game listEdit

Action 52 (NES)Edit

  1. Firebreather/ Fire Breathers:
  2. Starevil/ Star Evil
  3. Illuminator
  4. G-Force FGT./ G-Force (G-Force Fighters)
  5. Ooze^
  6. Silver Sword
  7. Critical BP./ Crytical Bypass (Critical Bypass)
  8. Jupitr Scope/ Jupiter Scope
  9. Alfredo/ Alfred N the Fettuc (Alfredo and The Fettucini*)
  10. Operat. Moon/ Operation Full-Moon
  11. Dam Busters
  12. Thrusters
  13. Haunted Hill/ Haunted Halls (Haunted Halls of Wentworth)
  14. Chill Out
  15. Sharks
  16. Megalonia
  17. French Baker
  18. Atmos Quake
  19. Meong
  20. Space Dreams
  21. Streemerz
  22. Spread Fire
  23. Bubblgum Rosy/ Bubble Gum Rossie (Bubblegum Rosie)
  24. Micro Mike/ Micro-Mike
  25. Underground
  26. Rocket Jock/ Rocket Jockey
  27. Non Human
  28. Cry Baby
  29. Slashers
  30. Crazy Shufle/ Crazy Shuffle
  31. Fuzz Power
  32. Shooting Gal/ Shooting Gallery
  33. Lollipops/ Lollipop
  34. Evil Empire
  35. Sombreros
  36. Storm Over D/ Storm Over the Des. (Storm Over the Desert)
  37. Mash Man
  38. They Came...
  39. Lazer League
  40. Billy-Bob
  41. City of Doom
  42. Bits N Piece/ Bits and Pieces
  43. Beeps N Blip/ Beeps and Blips
  44. Manchester (Manchester Beat)
  45. Boss (The Boss)
  46. Dedant
  47. Hambo/ Hambo's Adventures
  48. Timewarp/ Time Warp Tickers
  49. Jigsaw*
  50. Ninja Asault/ Ninja Assault
  51. Robbie Robot/ Robbie and the Robots
  52. Cheetah Men (AKA: Action Gamemaster)

Action 52 (Genesis)Edit

  1. Bonkers
  2. Darksyne
  3. Dyno Tennis
  4. Ooze
  5. Star Ball
  6. Sidewinder
  7. Daytona
  8. 15 Puzzle
  9. Sketch
  10. Star Duel
  11. Haunted Hill
  12. Alfredo
  13. The Cheetahmen
  14. Skirmish
  15. Depth Charge
  16. Minds Eye
  17. Alien Attack
  18. Billy Bob
  19. Sharks
  20. Knockout
  21. Intruder
  22. Echo
  23. Freeway
  24. Mousetrap
  25. Ninja
  26. Slalom
  27. Dauntless
  28. Force One
  29. Spidey
  30. Appleseed
  31. Skater
  32. Sunday Drive
  33. Star Evil
  34. Air Command
  35. Shootout
  36. Bombs Away
  37. Speed Boat
  38. Dedant
  39. G Fighter
  40. Man At Arms
  41. Norman
  42. Armor Battle
  43. Magic Bean
  44. Apache
  45. Paratrooper
  46. Sky Avenger
  47. Sharpshooter
  48. Meteor
  49. Black Hole
  50. The Boss
  51. First Game (A Pong clone.)
  52. Challenge

CheetahmenEdit

Released on the Action 52 NES and Genesis cartridges, The Cheetahmen was Active Enterprises' attempt to compete with the success of franchises such as Battletoads and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Action 52 cartridge came with a twelve-page comic book providing the Cheetahmen's backstory.

Cheetahmen IIEdit

The game was never released in North America. however, in 1996, 1,500 copies of the game were located in a warehouse, and eventually put on sale on the secondary market.

See alsoEdit

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