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Fading Afternoon Review

We play as Seiji Maruyama who is recently released from prison. You meet with your old Aniki and begin your life again as an aged Yakuza enforcer. Seiji is an aged man who has seen his fare share of gang wars, so his arsenal of combat is vast. The two main buttons you focus on is your punch and kick button.

The main combat loop consists of positioning, punching, kicking, blocking strikes, and most importantly encourages you to perform catch strikes. Catch strikes immediately kill your opponent. You can catch weapons to use against your opponents this way as well

Your arsenal of moves is a mix of martial arts of Judo, Karate, and Boxing. There are so many combos and the combat feels very satisfying and fluid for a 2D brawler.

The gunplay feels just adds to that. Every shot you inflict on your opponent is an instant kill and you can retrieve firearms during larger gang fights by performing the same catch strike mechanic.

Fighting rival gangs is your main way to progress the story and earn income. With every foe you defeat you earn a noticeable amount of yen. Yen is used for various activities in the world such hostess clubs, drinking beer, and most importantly buying cigarettes.

The gameplay loop has you travelling to different locations, engaging in gang fights, going home to heal, and repeating this loop until the gang boss is available for assassination in that region. The day cycle in the game limits the number of tasks players can accomplish, with longer travel times on the train reducing the available time for activities.

I have to mention the music aswell. Each location has a certain lofi jazz song attached, but the clubs bring a Japanese city pop spin to it, vocals and all.

Near the end of the game the combat can become monotonous and repetitive, despite its initial satisfaction.

Fading Afternoon is a top notch 2D fighting game with a surprisingly deep story. It´s a game about a man who is steadily getting too old for his line of work. You won’t be able to regenerate your health, and it’s a race against the clock to get through the game before you get too weak to keep doing what you’re doing.

Little known Gaming Kick FACT: I´m huge fan of beat em up brawlers and this was hella fun and it nails the 70´s Yakuza vibe. I would say it´s not for everyone, but you just have to be in that mood to enjoy it. Maybe pick it up and wait for that moment in your life to enjoy this masterpiece.

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