On FeatureFriday, we show off content created by our members here on PokéCommunity. This week we’ll be reviewing Pokémon Dark Energy, a ROM hack based on Pokémon Silver set in the world of Suden!
Dark Energy is a title that doesn’t seem to be brought up very often, and I’m really not sure why. Inspired by traditional RPGs like Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series, it offers a distinctively unique Pokémon journey that highly deviates from the common formula of “earn 8 badges and become the region’s Champion”. Of course, that familiar formula we know and love has worked for all these years, but sometimes you just want something different. This is truly my favourite type of ROM hack.
The story starts off with the Professor asking you to come to the University, where you and your friend Oscar hear that archaeologists made a discovery in East Suden – mysterious writing in the mountains about the fabled Elemental Orbs. You and Oscar are given an epic quest to go and investigate the ancient text, search for the Elemental Orbs and discover the truth about “The Crisis”, an event that occurred 1000 years ago which resulted in destruction of the region.
Given that the hack is based on Pokémon Silver and not the better-supported Pokémon Crystal, there are graphical limitations which can only be expected. However, there are some nice updates – each Pokémon has its own individual party menu icon, for one. The maps are fun to explore with lots of hidden tidbits to discover, even if the actual map design can seem a little needlessly large with lots of open spaces that lack decorative detail at times.
You have to use your head to solve problems and progress, and talk to people to gain information on what to do to achieve your next goal. Gyms exist, but they are certainly not the centre of gameplay.
There are interesting utilities like the Battle Room, a battle simulator – you can earn Battle Points which you can redeem to buy all sorts of prizes! Quality of life updates include the Running Shoes and the Pokémon Black and White Repel system.
If you have never played, or even heard of Dark Energy until now, it’s definitely time you gave it a try. If you’re looking for an experience which is anything but your typical Pokémon game, I cannot recommend it enough. It really is in a class all by itself. What are you waiting for?