Today we're going to look at a slightly different game from the fighters and shooters we've talked about so far, in this case Shinkenden's Qualia2 ~ Evolve. I'm categorizing it more under "other" than anything else, because it's not quite an action game, and not quite a shooter. The game has a slightly more unique feel to it than that.
Basically, players control a little creature on the screen that has to fight other little creatures by dropping bombs, and luring the enemy toward them so that they get hit by the explosions when the bombs go off. Every so often one will also face off against a boss. In this situation, luring them to the bombs usually isn't an option. Here players must try to slip through the boss' defenses and place the bombs near its vulnerable points so that they will inflict some damage when they go off.
As players progress through the levels, little green and red dots will somethings appear and float around the screen. Coming into contact with these will cause the player's on-screen character to evolve into a more power powerful creature. Depending on which order one takes these dots will impact the direction in which that creature will evolve. Everyone starts off as a flea, and it branches off from there. For example, a person could follow one evolutionary path and become a starfish, a creature that isn't terribly maneuverable, but can launch three bombs at once for massive damage. On the other hand, one could become a dragon, a far longer, more slender creature that can drop one bomb at a time, but is much faster and more maneuverable than the starfish. Half the fun is discovering what you can turn into. One other thing that I should note quickly in terms of gameplay is the physics, as the whole game feels like you're flowing through water, almost like your character is in the primordial ooze. It works quite well, and is a nice tough.
Qualia2's visuals go for a more abstract approach. Your character and the enemies are all wire-like outlines flowing around on a hex grid background that morphs as bombs go off around it. All the while some nice jazzy electronic music (that reminds me a bit of Ridge Racer 4) is playing in the background. It's simple and relaxing.
If you want to see the game in action, take a peak at the video below. Shinkenden has a demo for the game available for download from their site. Just follow the link I've provided at the top of this post to head there and check it out.