Thursday, September 7, 2023

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge's Dimension Shellshock DLC Review: Now With More Dimensions

By Jonathan B

I thought I was done chasing my turtle high. Sure, I could go back and play the game again with a new friend or try and level up some of the characters, but then Dimension Shellshock DLC came out for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. They pulled me back into that shell.

I'll try less puns in the review, but it's hard, this is a ninja turtle game. And though, it has nothing to do with the new movie, it has everything to deal with nostalgia.

Dimension Shellshock brings a lot from Ninja Turtles history. Mainly two new characters to play as. First up, it's Usagi Yojimbo, a butt-kicking bunny samurai. He wasn't even created by Kevin and Eastman, he's from another comic creator, Stan Sakai. And, he's been part of comic and cartoon crossovers since the 80's or 90's with the tutrles; perfect for a dimension hopping survival mode. More on that later. In fact, I just finished reading their latest crossover together in the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen. A good read of Usagi and the turtles having to stop a time traveling warlord.

Then you have Karai, I'm not sure of her original angle, but in the cartoons she's usually the daughter of Shredder and eventually learns too help the turtles. 

Both have their own excellent style and animations. No, re-skins. These two play differently and have their own moves. Karai has some instant ninja moves, so her dodges are invisible. Two fully realized new characters to button mash.

Survival Mode, added with the DLC, happens to also be a good excuse for crossing dimensions. So, not really more to the main story. Even if this doesn't just added stages to the story, it's supper addictive.

I thought I could put it down, but each time I do I get stuck playing for an extra thirty minutes or more, where did my hour go?

Ya see, in Survival mode you're trying to collect crystals in five dimensions. Which means new levels and boy are these backgrounds beautiful and deadly. You're traveling through a lot of Ninja Turtle history. The "Mirage" dimension, a play on the Mirage Comics, has you fighting and falling in-between black and white comic panels. "Edo" has you fighting in ancient Japan. Then you have the future and old school video games dimension and more.

To change it up, you'll get different power-ups after beating enough bad guys per level. You can either  collect some crystals or a power-up. The power-ups vary to just some plain ol' health to mutating into enemy bosses from the game like Bebop or Rocksteady. It's fun to be as powerful as one of the bosses and you might need it with how hard survival gets.

The only problem is that you leveling up your character only stays in the mode your in. So, if you power-up Karai in Survival Mode, she'll be a blank slate in story mode and vice versa. It seems annoying as you think you might have earned those special abilities and perks in story mode or the other, but I guess they want Survival mode to not be too easy on you.

I've got lost in the new mode more than once at how fun it can be beating down foot soldiers in large numbers for fun. Looking in the new survival mode backgrounds you'll see so many cute animations and art of older characters from the turtles you'll wonder why they don't make another game. It can get taxing taking down so many enemies without some story thrown in, it's still not gonna stop me from collecting all those crystals though and kicking Shredder's butt.

Dimension Shellshock DLC is out now alongside anywhere else you can pick up the main game.

DLC provided by publisher for review purposes.