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Versus Fighting Story review: esports, fighting and manga, an unlikely threesome? – News

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As we saw with Epic Lanes, talking about eSports in manga is not easy. It is sometimes necessary to succeed in getting rid of the sporting and competitive aspect to dig the characters in order to create empathy while making readers want to continue the story. Versus Fighting Story therefore faces the same problems, but is much more successful than the title of Hachette by avoiding many errors while offering a funny, energetic and educational adventure.

Versus Fighting Story review: esports, fighting and manga, an unlikely threesome?

You don't know anything about esports? Is Versus Fighting as cryptic for you as high-level curling? Versus Fighting Story is for you! As paradoxical as this introduction may seem to you, it only highlights one of the objectives of this manga wishing to make accessible to everyone a kind of game just as codified as MOBA. Indeed, if the two genres seem to be the opposite of each other, it turns out that both are not very accessible, especially played at a professional level. Versus Fighting Story therefore intends to break this barrier from the outset via its characters being more or less customary in this universe, this allowing the author to give us some explanations of the most technical terms via dialogues loaded with details or a very complete lexicon at each end of volume. To top it off, there is also a Beginner's Guide with several tips for shining in Street Fighter V or even interviews with Pro players to familiarize yourself with the world of eSports. An excellent initiative allowing this series (currently comprising 4 volumes) to be better understood and appreciated.

Versus Fighting Story review: esports, fighting and manga, an unlikely threesome?

But what about the manga itself? Using everything that the genre "nekketsu" implies (the hero's evolution through his encounters, his efforts, his victories, but also his defeats) to better inject him into the field of eSports, the title extrapolates and draws attention to the fact that it is openly based on several real events (starting with the Stunfest) and personalities from this milieu, from MrQuaRaté to a certain Ken Bogard via Pro players like Luffy and TKR. The scriptwriting canvas turns out to be quite conventional and follows Maxime Volta, a young French prodigy of fighting games who will very quickly realize that there is always stronger than you, especially in this area, and that he he will have to exceed his limits and train hard if he wants to impose himself on the international scene by going to face the Japanese, undisputed masters of Versus Fighting. Nothing surprising in the structure, but knowing that the characters turn out to be dynamic, complementary and rather fresh, we follow with interest their adventures which will make them face increasingly strong players.

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Versus Fighting Story review: esports, fighting and manga, an unlikely threesome?

We will also remember that the manga never takes itself seriously by throwing us surreal face to face like that between Anna Takashima (playing with one hand) and Firion, member of Team Arkadia whose objective is to win the Capcom Cup. Here too, the author Guillaume Dorison (creator and editor-in-chief of the late Game Fan magazine) and the mangaka Kalon gave themselves to their heart by brushing crazy characters like John-Claude Lafleur (fan of JCVD ​​and whose nobody does not understand English), badass, introverted or almost divine like Saizo, third emperor of Versus Fighting, able to play with his eyes closed just by listening to the noises of his opponent's stick and who would not have mismatched in the universe of Hokuto No Ken. All this gives the team, led by Max Volta's uncle, a heterogeneous side in order to better detach themselves from the group of their nephew and thus shuffle the cards for an inevitable confrontation to come.

On this subject, we regret that the few parts of Street Fighter V pictured are not more legible, the fault of a storyboard sometimes a bit messy. Too bad especially as the line of Kalon is detailed and very energetic. However, the whole is visually very pleasant and the integration of photos for some decors manages to further anchor the adventure in reality despite the overtly WTF aspect fully assumed. In the end, these first volumes of Versus Fighting Story serve their purpose well, especially as new characters appear at regular intervals and the story quietly follows its course through Max's training, his sometimes tense but always benevolent and humorous relationships with his sister, the reflections on the Versus pecuniary aspect, the passion for the genre and the beauty of sport, or even the evolution of Team Arkadia, confronted from the start with superhuman players. Whether you are a fan or not of eSports or Versus Fighting, the title of Glénat is surprisingly successful in having found a fair balance between its Shonen influences and its desire to take the reader by the hand to explain the cogs of this environment where a simple quarter circle forward can change the face of the world.

> Buy Volume 1 of Versus Fighting Story

Profile of Logan, iGamesNews

By Logan, Journalist igamesnews.com

MP

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I started playing Xbox a lot thanks to Call of Duty online. Since then I haven't stopped playing competitive online.

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