Originally released back in September 2011, Nurse Love Syndrome was remastered and released for the international audience in April 2019 (which happens to be around 3 years after the international release of its “sequel,” Nurse Love Addiction).
I found it a bit difficult to play through Nurse Love Syndrome without comparing the visual novel to the aforementioned sequel, which actually features totally different characters. Be that as it may, I’ll try to avoid bringing up Nurse Love Addiction as much as possible in this review since having you read about a separate game you possibly haven’t played yet would be in poor taste of me, I think.
If I had to describe Nurse Love Syndrome with a few choice phrases, I would go with slow-paced, mild yet mature, and fantastically romantic. Let’s go through each of these short descriptions one by one.
In general, Nurse Love Addiction takes its time as seen in how the common route is six chapters long and can take several hours to finish. Furthermore, the characters on the screen change expressions relatively slowly, which certainly gives the reader time to appreciate how a character’s face changes when she gets mad but it also tends to slow down the reader. In my opinion, visual novels should be savoured so that’s not a big deal unless if you’re trying to rush through the visual novel for some reason.
Additionally, the lull of gentle, melodic piano motifs really matches the visual novel’s somewhat easygoing pace. Which in itself is amusing since the characters in this visual novel frequently find themselves in life-or-death situations due to them working or staying at a hospital. Don’t worry, the music can and does switch to more intense and dramatic instrumentals in a moment’s notice.
Describing something as “story-driven” seems a bit silly, but the term does seem apt to describe a visual novel that focuses primarily on characterization and character development with little attention on more, ah, explicit details.
What I’m trying to say is that aside from some scenes in the changing room where the nurses slip in or out of their uniforms, Nurse Love Syndrome stays mostly away from sexual content aside from the few times Kaori (the rookie nurse protagonist) is persuaded to do this or that by others since she’s such a pushover. In any case, the visual novel still features partial nudity and some sexual themes (Yasuko’s suggestive quips are rather prominent) even though the girls never engage in coitus on-screen.
Which is something I actually appreciate. I know I might be weird for saying so, but I typically prefer my yuri visual novels to stay at least a little wholesome – I personally don’t really need to see the girls fingerblast each other to know they’re gay and in love. So in that sense I love how Nurse Love Syndrome includes kisses and moments of nervousness (and a spiteful “love”-bite, oh my) so the readers can know that the characters are attracted to one another for sure without having to include excessively carnal and primal scenes.
With that being said, every character in the visual novel unsurprisingly have their own issues to deal with. Their struggles are deeply-rooted and, even though Kaori eventually helps them cope in their routes, their problems are not dismissed or downplayed, in my opinion. With that being said, some of those issues are rather dark which is definitely a major reason why I would consider to this game to be mild yet mature.
Which brings me to the phrase that can mean different things: “fantastically romantic.” Honestly, some weird stuff happens in Nurse Love Syndrome – some are possible in real life and others aren’t. This leads to some interesting or controversial situations, which especially applies to the women Kaori can pursue. After all, she’s making moves on her co-workers and on the patients she overlooks, which is already pretty spicy.
So yes, some of Kaori’s love interests are going to be a no-go depending on personal preferences. To some, certain bridges cannot be crossed and that’s perfectly fine. Be that as it may, I found myself hooked on the incredible coincidences and the impossible moments which happen in more or less every route. Maybe I’m just a sucker for fairy tales and miracles and love which transcend boundaries. I do have to admit that watching a video of a translated demo of Nurse Love Syndrome was what really got me interested in yuri visual novels in the first place, so I’m definitely totally biased, haha.
In conclusion, I love this visual novel. It’s slow, mildly sexual, considerably mature, and fantastical, but that’s part of the charm of Nurse Love Syndrome.