Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was one of my favourite games of 2022. The beat ‘em up captured the nostalgia of the original TMNT titles of yesteryear while captivating a whole new audience by adopting modern platform tropes. Shredder’s Revenge isn’t just a good turtles game – it’s one of the best.
DLC being added to the base game was a no-brainer for the team at Dotemu – and that’s how we get to where we are today with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Dimension Shellshock.
Dimension Shellshock makes the existing package even more worthy of a playthrough. Unfortunately the DLC has no new extra story missions, but instead adds a whole new mode that is actually rather fun! Priced quite reasonably, is the package worth the entry price, or best left in the sewers?
Survival is the mode in question and, you guessed it – you need to survive. Taking place after the main story, as the turtles celebrate their victories over Krang and Shredder, the Neutrinos enter their lair to tell the brothers that they need their help to retrieve the crystals they use to travel across dimensions.
Stereotypical story macguffin aside, this mode actually rocks. Stages are all varied and have various features; like challenging stage hazards to avoid or unique art styles. I really loved the retro, black and white stages that evoked the original turtles games and comics (yes they started in black and white kids). Each stage should definitely be seen as a challenge in single player too. Perhaps it is best played with a friend or two.
Once you acquire a few upgrades from your crystals things start to get a bit easier, but the initial challenge may put more casual fans off a tad. There is very much a whole risk/reward underlying tone to Dimension Shellshock – should you choose a boost to your HP going into the next wave, or take the crystal rewards to try and save enough for an upgrade? The choice is yours, but as I said – this mode can be quite unforgiving.
This also brings a game style to Shredders Revenge that I usually don’t enjoy – roguelike. Each time you die and have to start over, your crystal progression carries over, giving the survival mode that ‘one more shot’ feeling each time you fail and get knocked out. And trust me you’ll get knocked out a lot playing solo; the challenge is tricky and definitely not one for newcomers.
Additionally, the Dimension Shellshock expansion brings two new characters into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Karai of the Footclan, and Usagi Yojimbo hero (and mutant samurai rabbit) Miyamoto Usagi. Both feel like nice fresh characters to take on the survival mode with, also allowing you to replay old story missions to try to grab that 100% for each stage.
It is here where I would have preferred even just two or three new story stages squeezed in for the introduction of the new characters, but sadly they do not get any special treatment as such.
It would have been nice to see a few more characters brought to the game. The two we have here – Karai and Miyamoto – are nice, but things would be far better if there was a slew of mutants from the TMNT universe. If someone could bring Bebop and Rocksteady to the playable roster I would be most grateful. Admittedly, we get to play as them temporarily in survival mode, so there is still hope yet!
Karai takes a bit of getting used to when playing. Her swift movements are great to jump in and out of the oncoming hordes of enemies, but she isn’t so great when cornered. Usagi is more of a basic character; mid range and plays a lot like Leonardo thanks to his use of a sword during combat.
We also get some palette swaps for the characters. Casey, April and Splinter aren’t too exciting and they didn’t really need extra colours for their costumes as they don’t often change their look up much. The four brothers however vary with each iteration. Being able to have Raph wear his bandana over his head instead of just his eyes is now my main character choice. It’s great to see such tweaks made, but we want MORE!
A wonderful new mode that extends the fun beyond the main stories makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Dimension Shellshock a must buy for those who enjoyed the 2022 turtle based delight. While a couple more characters on the roster and a handful of new story stages wouldn’t have hurt, this is definitely one to pick up if you’re a fan of the heroes in a half shell.