Developer Blackwing Gaming and publisher Ratalaika Games have announced the general availability of the developer’s latest visual novel ‘Kuroi Tsubasa’. The story follows Kureha and Blackwing, the former an office lady down on her luck and the latter a devil who takes over one of Kureha’s plushies to keep his powers in check. Together, they’ll work together to defeat the shadow that has come to be as a result of Blackwing’s negligence, and experience many a story with the various characters they’ll meet over the course of the game. Plus, the console release comes with a bonus chapter.
Have a gander at the release trailer, gallery, and press release below. Kuroi Tsubasa can be picked up on the Xbox Store right over here.
Kuroi Tsubasa Press Release
Price: $4.99 / €4.99 Release Date: 2nd June (Friday) Platforms: Xbox – PS4/5 – Switch Genre: Graphic Novel
Wednesday 31st May 2023: Indie publisher Ratalaika Games and Blackwing Gaming are excited to announce the forthcoming release of Kuroi Tsubasa, a colourful and polished graphic novel set for release on 2nd June 2023.
Launching on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch, fans of this genre will be interested to note that the game was developed by a community of gamers who had a special love of graphic novels contributing skilled artists, musicians and so on.
A graphic novel is essentially based around a strong story line and interesting cast and Kuroi Tsubasa has it all sealed up nicely. What makes this story compelling is the huge cast of characters with extremely different issues. Kuroi Tsubasa were designed in a way to be relatable for specific fears and trauma, and offer relief for those who can relate. Bullying, poverty, the crushing weight of high expectations, and so on. By discussing these topics, and finding ways to cope with them ensures the story moves forward whilst being interesting and thoughtful.
Setting the Scene.Blackwing, the central character, a literal devil, escaped from hell because his grandpa told him that the mortal realm is much nicer. However, because he is not that bright (but thinks he is), he neglected to keep his evil powers in check, which manifest as “shadow”, that possesses people and causes havoc. The shadow can only possess people with emotional problems by promising to fulfil their wishes – which then get twisted and turned dark. To keep further accidents from happening, Blackwing needs a vessel with strong positive emotions, which he finds in the form of a plushie belonging to the office worker Kureha. Blackwing and her band together on their quest to defeat the shadow and help the people in need (or so Kureha thinks, Blackwing just wants to laze around). During the story the shadow possesses various people, all of whom Kureha and Blackwing need to help. The solutions are strictly non-combat, as the shadow can only possess people with traumas and deep-seated emotional issues, so by working these out Kureha and Blackwing can cast the shadow out.
Kureha is the main heroine and second protagonist from the game. She’s an office lady in her early 20s, and gets bullied at her workplace. Her colleagues hate her, her supervisor is a mean bully, and Kureha has literally no confidence. She’s shy and timid, but also has a goofy side. After Blackwing grants her the power to transform into a magical girl, complete with a frilly dress, her life takes a sharp 180° turn. Being a magical girl grants her the ability to read the emotional state of other people, among other things.
A tangled web of intrigue Although Kuroi Tsubasa is intrinsically linear and there is only one ending (and one secret, unlockable ending that serves as an epilogue) there are different choices the player can make that provide extra scenes, high quality CG art or background information about the characters. A fun example would be Tanaka’s side story.
He serves as a minor antagonist, but by choosing the correct choices over the course of the majority of the game, the player can learn much more about him, experience his failing love life, and generally laugh at his antics. This increases replayability, but for those who only want to experience one set story, the players are not forced to restart the game again and again to experience a satisfying ending.
Kuroi Tsubasa offers everything plus a lot more with its eye candy looks and cleverly devised and interesting cast.
Feature and facts
120,000 words, so around 10 hours playtime plus achievements
Over 50 songs, all created for this game, including several vocal tracks
Two music videos in-game
Including variations: over 50 CGs! (CG = graphic that’s not sprite + background, but a unique piece of art for a specific scene)
A completely new bonus chapter after the game, exclusive for the console release
Love the look! Expertise A1!
Many artists came together and worked with their unique style and skill sets. Every sprite shines and stands out from the rest. The same can be considered for the backgrounds, some have been created in blender, as fully 3d render, while others have been painted traditionally, or digitally. The huge variety, and monumental amount of different assets, make this really stand out. An interesting quote from the team, ‘Visual novels are the facial expressions – where most novels like this have maybe a dozen faces per character, we have literally billions through clever combining of assets and posing of the characters. All of which can be easily assessed in the character viewer in-game, by the way.’
A game featuring no romance, just love between friends.