It's been well over three years (almost four!) since I last updated my Action 52 pages with tales of the absolute worst gaming one could subject themselves to. My apologies for staying asleep at the switch so long; I worried that I might risk redundancy in saying "this game is pure shit from the asshole of Satan himself" in different forms over and over again. But you know, with this filthy 52 being host to so many uniquely awful games, that may not end up being the case. We'll just have to see, I suppose.

Additionally, I think I would've more than likely broken down without several years to recover from my initial experiences with the likes of Non-Human and Mash Man.

So here I go, older and yet clearly not much the wiser, welcoming you back into the horrifying world of Action 52. Read, but never play, and a healthy mind yours shall stay.

The Ooze

The Ooze is yet another of the few and proud Action 52 games that recieved a title screen, leading me to believe the developers felt it was one of their more ambitious enteries. I can think of few things more depressing. Where Non-Human was merciful enough to only be a single level long, The Ooze seeps into your very soul with seven rounds of groan inducing pap.

Cast your anchors (read: save states. Don't be ashamed about cheating in this case. I beat the game without them and came off of it frightened and confused) and get ready to witness your sanity rot away as level designs that would be laughably easy in any decently programmed game become little electronic torture chambers, thanks largely in part to the rusty jumping mechanics of your standard Action 52 platformer. Not breaking consistency from other games on the cart, the levels in The Ooze end abruptly, with no significant landmarks or bosses to warn you of the continuing punishment ahead. Think of this as the whipped cream garnishing this steaming fecal sundae.

And what sundae would be complete without the cherry on top? Upon finishing the game I was greeted to this screen, which I can only assume was related to some Action 52 sweepstakes held by Active Enterprises. How foolishly naive of them to assume anyone would be stupid enough to suffer throu... dear god have I got problems.


"Almost playable" is just about the kindest thing that can be said about any given title from this library of Hell, and I dare say Starevil comes close to reaching that high watermark. Does that mean it isn't terrible? Of course not, but getting a break from relearning everything I knew about jumping in a video game can even make me appreciate a generic space shooter with a hit box the size of an elephant. An Action 52 game that causes no frustrated tears and minimal amounts of screaming is, at least in relative terms, a pretty nice thing.

So how does Starevil fall short of the coveted "almost playable" ranking? I point you to the screenshot to the left, which displays the ever so pretty in pink Level 4 in it's entirety. The sound effects subsist, and yet the game is gone.

Whether I should call this a glitch or a godsend, I've yet to determine.


Slasher is the Action 52 attempt at the beat-em-up genre, which is an interesting coincidence as being beaten up into a pile of broken bones and gore almost seems like a preferable experience. While normal beat-em-ups tend to be pretty mindless, Slasher raises his sweaty fist triumphantly and bests them all by requiring absolute zero mental participation from the player. By simply holding right and tapping A, you'll find yourself demolishing massive breasted street ruffs and grungy bear men as though your fingers were magic.

The wizards at Active Enterprises were crafty enough to make two levels into five by implementing pallete swaps and vague graphical changes, creating the illusion of a world where subway tunnels and rooftops are all that exist. Tragically, sending Slasher off the side of one of these rooftops or in front of an incoming train is not a gameplay option.


While making fun of Action 52 is certainly an easy task, naming anything good about it proves to be a significant challenge. Let's see if it's possible to dig up five positive things out of this mangled hunk of gameplay and sorrow!

1. Prolonged exposure to Action 52 is a fine form of torture, for all you sadists out there.
2. You can do other things while playing Slasher.
3. It makes other gaming low points like the Ikari Warriors series seem like near masterpieces.
4. It... uh...
5. ?????

On to more Action 52 games!

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