Note: Review Code provided by Degica Games.
When we last spoke of lesbian nurses it was in the “most interesting” Visual Novel that was Nurse Love Addiction. After its release fans wondered if/when its predecessor would also get localized. Three years later in 2019 it became a reality. Not only that but the version we got in the West was the Remaster that added more content, making an already big title massive. Does that mean the game is worth readers’ time? Let us find out as we take a look at Nurse Love Syndrome, aka Nurse Love Syndrome RE:Therapy, developed by Kogado Studio and published by Degica Games.
Note: I will be bring up NLA throughout the review not as a comparison but to point out similarities and differences.
Platforms: PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch
Genres: Drama, Educational, Romance, Visual Novel, Yuri
Themes: Hospital, Nurses, Medicine
Length: 30-50+ hours (Depends on reading speed)
In a fantasy Japan, where womanly love is the norm, and a nurse can heal others with a touch of her hands…
Meet cheerful Kaori Sawai, fresh out of nursing school, as she joins Yurigahama Hospital. Surviving a near death experience as a child left her with a desire to become a nurse and “healing hands” that let her relieve pain in patients just by touching them.
Written by real life nurses Sakura Sakura and Madoka Madoka, Nurse Love Syndrome shares the same world as Nurse Love Addiction. Focusing on young adults fresh out of school, guide Kaori in her story of growth, love, and medicine.
NLA was set in a medical college following a group of aspiring nurses and a teacher where “Description erased” happened. NLS is a more straightforward hospital drama. Basically this is more in line with what someone would expect from a yuri visual novel about nurses. The story is not only about working in a hospital, interacting with patients and possibly finding love with one of six cute and sexy ladies but “plreaders” (play and read) will learn quite a bit about the job, how to best help patients of varying ages (The game focuses on children and the elderly because they are usually the most vulnerable to getting sick), various diseases and how to potentially treat them and much more. The story and character development is twofold. On the nurses side “plreaders” get to see Kaori and her coworkers/love interests struggle to not make mistakes, maintain a good relationship with patients and each other, searching for the answer of what kind of nurse they want to be and of course educate and lecture each other. Even the two veteran nurses, Yamanouchi and The Chief, for as knowledgeable and full of experience as they are they too make mistakes or poor decisions. They teach this at school (or at least should), every day at work is a new learning experience. We see this through Kaori who learns and grows every day. She is not a genius and makes many mistakes but learns and grows every day doing her best to avoid making more. It shows that cramming theories into your head is far from enough. You need to understand the words in dem books and put them into practice. Again this is stuff we learn at school but NLS is a great example of how life could be like after getting your dream job post-graduation.
As for the patients their drama revolves around their illnesses/diseases and struggling with life and death, wondering whether they will be able to live a happy life outside of the hospital ever again. There is of course more to it than that but they share this concern. Big duh.
Expect to see many apologies, scoldings and mooing translated to neighing. Speaking of…
Before we briefly go over Kaori and her six love interests there is something worth mentioning. This is primarily for readers who have issues with typos. The English translation is good. There is little difficulty understanding what is going on. However, throughout the game there are several typos and minor misspellings or misplacement of words. Coming from someone who has read and reviewed many Visual and Kinetic Novels these typos are quick and easy to correct and continue “plreading” but this is worth keeping in mind, especially for VN/KN novices.
Now then, let us continue. As mentioned Kaori is an adorable protagonist who is not the sharpest tool in the box but is very capable of adapting across her first year as a nurse trainee. She is fortunate to work with a team who often scold her for mistakes but acknowledge her rookie status and praise her as she improves, making sure she does not let the praise get to her head. While I did say the story is for the most part a hospital drama Kaori has an unknown past she struggles with in the form of recurring nightmares and a traumatic experience that continues to haunt her. Depending on the chosen love interest Kaori either faces the darkness or puts it behind her to focus on her new life.
Nagisa is Kaori’s senpai/senior from their college years. She graduated before her and has a year of experience working in the hospital. Although Kaori worships her as the kind and caring senior she is super excited to team up with again and learn much from she quickly learns Nagisa is no more sharper of a tool than she is despite having more theoretical knowledge than her. It is no secret she has feelings for Kaori but…could there be more to her than that?
Yasuko, Who prefers to be called Yamanouchi, is one of two veteran nurses. She is an attractive and openly gay pro who enjoys teasing and flirting with her coworkers. She is also an expert at flipping her mood switch, meaning she can instantly go from a playful tease to a seasoned veteran at a moment’s notice. She is a great ally and a terrifying foe at the same time. Kaori better avoid getting on her bad side. Besides nurse duties she has a secret activity.
Hatsumi, aka The Chief, can be best described as a very strict but caring onee-san of the group. She is very intolerant of mistakes and will scold the guilty party hard. However, it becomes clear it is her way of ensuring her coworkers do a better job, especially those she believes have great potential. At work she is one of the very best nurses on the field but outside of the workplace…Not only that but the way she reacts toward Kaori from time to time is quite peculiar…
Next up are the patients Kaori can become quite close with.
Ami is the nice patient. She is cheerful, helpful and a joy to be around. She id the oldest patient in the children’s room, always willing to help nurses care for the kids. Naturally she has concerns she has a hard time sharing with others.
Sayuri, the mean patient. Hoo boy…The way she treats Kaori…She is the token “patience” route. Readers familiar with her character archetype may know what kind of journey awaits trying to romance her. Like Ami she has her own problems but it will take great patience. If I were to meet someone like her in real life I do not know how well I could work with her. “Gotta be patient with this patient”.
Then there is the third patient. Via process of elimination readers can figure out what she looks like. As for what she is like as a character…well you will have to unlock her route to find out.
Yes. Patient #3 and The Chief require one good ending and two specific good endings respectively to unlock their romance routes. More dialogue options become available in the 2nd and 3rd playthroughs (Once the Chief’s route is unlocked to be exact). So about the length. Based on my reading speed along with me listening to the excellent voice acting, my first go through the Common Route and one Good Ending took me over 25 hours. Then I was surprised by an Extra Chapter after the Good End set after Kaori and her lover officially got together. This was a bonus story, not just a brief epilogue. That is six Extra Chapters, each girl/woman having more than one Bad End, the extra content in the 2nd/Patient #3 and Chief Route playthroughs and some more stuff. Again depending on the reading speed getting everything could take between 30+ to 50+ hours. Speaking of endings the bad ones are not as “BZZZT” as NLA’s. They hit hard emotionally rather than “BZZZT”.
Like in NLA getting Good Ends is not easy, especially when “plreaders” enter their chosen lover’s route. One wrong decision could lead to a premature Bad End before or worse, near the last part of the chapter. This is where multiple save slots and the “Skip to Next Choice” option comes in handy.
As readers have noticed the character art looks slightly older than NLA. The original NLS is its predecessor after all. Still the ladies look quite nice. It is cute how each love interest pretty much has their own theme, usually playing when Kaori interacts with a specific coworker or patient. Think of this as a PS3 HD Remaster rather than a PS4 one. The other tunes are nice too.
Overall readers who do not mind typos here and there will be rewarded with a massive romance drama that will teach and enthrall with an interesting cast of lovely ladies. The presentation looks older than Nurse Love Addiction but it is its predecessor so it makes sense. With over 20 Endings, post Good End Extra chapters, extra scenes in the second or third playthrough and the $40 price tag is justified.
Get the game on either Steam or Nintendo eShop. I do not know if there are still Physical Editions available or Nurse Love Bundles.