Category Archives: Individual Games

Nurse Love Syndrome: Beauty is Skin-Deep

As we’ve previously explored, some of the core themes that run through Kogado Studio’s visual novel Nurse Love Syndrome include the ideas that people are fallible, that first impressions aren’t always correct — and that becoming overly dependent on someone is usually a bad idea.

The narrative route for Yasuko Yamanouchi explores these concepts from a slightly different angle. Protagonist Kaori Sawai once again finds herself struggling in her early days as a nurse, but this time around the ways she finds herself having to cope — and the things she has to cope with — are a little different from that which we witness if we pursue the route focusing on her senpai Nagisa.

Like much of Nurse Love Syndrome, Yamanouchi’s route is emotionally charged and, at times, a challenging read. Sounds ripe for a bit of deeper reading, no?

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Nurse Love Syndrome: Nearest and Dearest

Although Kogado Studio’s visual novels Nurse Love Addiction and Nurse Love Syndrome are available as a set (known as Nurse Love Obsession), they’re actually very different experiences.

While Nurse Love Addiction primarily unfolds in a nursing school and deals with the shared traumatic past of a small group of students, Nurse Love Syndrome, at least on a first pass, is a rather more down-to-earth affair that concerns the struggles of a rookie nurse during her first year on the job.

For anyone who has ever experienced work-related stress and the mental health challenges that presents one with, it’s a difficult and emotional but rewarding read. And there’s a lot more to discover beyond that first playthrough, too. Let’s take a first look at the package as a whole, and what one of the routes through the narrative has to offer us.

Continue reading Nurse Love Syndrome: Nearest and Dearest

Magicami DX: Candy-Coloured Darkness

Following on from last week’s look at big-budget free-to-play city pop magical girls eroge Magicami DX, I’ve been spending a bit more time with the game.

At the time of writing, I’m over halfway through the current main story content (on the game’s Normal difficulty), so it’s that side of things I’d like to talk about today — with particular regard to how the 18+ version of the game handles things.

With that in mind, there will likely be mild spoilers ahead, along with NSFW images and graphic descriptions and depictions of sexual violence. You have been warned!

Continue reading Magicami DX: Candy-Coloured Darkness

Magicami DX: Magical Girls Go Punk

Critics of popular Asian free-to-play games often joke that those who invest money into their hobbies are “paying money for JPEGs of their favourite characters”.

While obviously a somewhat mean-spirited exaggeration, the truth of the matter is that, barring a few notable exceptions, free-to-play mobile games do tend to eschew flashy technical prowess in favour of a constant barrage of new playable storylines, special events and collaborations with popular franchises. And their players don’t seem to mind this relative lack of “wow factor”; the immensely popular and long-running Granblue Fantasy, for example, is little more than a collection of sluggishly loading HTML pages playing some low bitrate audio in the background, but it shows no sign of slowing down.

With all this in mind, though, wouldn’t it be nice to find a free-to-play game that combined the things people enjoy about this sort of experience with rather higher production values than usual? Well, enter Magicami DX, a game which came out in 2019 back home in Japan, and which has now found itself localised for the browsers and mobile devices of English speakers thanks to adult gaming specialists Nutaku, who you may recall I had a nice chat with a little while back.

Let’s take a first look!

Continue reading Magicami DX: Magical Girls Go Punk

My Time With Dee Dee, Vol. 4: First Look

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that friend of the site and big bossman of DigitallyDownloaded.net Matt Sainsbury has been beavering away at a series of visual novels of late.

Collectively known as My Time With Dee Dee, each “volume” of the series focuses on a particular aspect of literature and explores it in depth from a practical perspective, both through the volume’s own narrative and a bonus academic-style explanation of the genre or school of thought.

To date, we’ve taken on the erotic thriller in the first volume, the concept of the male gaze in the second, and existentialism in the third. Now, with the upcoming fourth volume, Sainsbury has set himself a challenging goal: to explore, challenge and confront the ideas of the Marquis de Sade. To that end, he sent me an early version of the new game to take a look at and see what I thought. So let’s do just that!

Continue reading My Time With Dee Dee, Vol. 4: First Look

Nurse Love Addiction: Learning to Love is Learning to Trust

And so, we come to the conclusion of our look at Kogado Studio’s fascinating visual novel Nurse Love Addiction with Kaede Ohara’s route — a path through the narrative that can quite reasonably be regarded as the most “normal” one.

Once you’ve played through Nurse Love Addiction once or twice, it will be clear that Kaede’s path is somewhat separated from the others, since there’s a very obvious “branch point” in the common route that either steers protagonist Asuka towards the three paths that deal with her past, or allows her to sidestep it in favour of Kaede’s story.

Will our heroine be able to get through this experience physically and mentally unscathed? Read on, and let’s explore further. Spoilers ahead, as always.

Continue reading Nurse Love Addiction: Learning to Love is Learning to Trust

Nurse Love Addiction: The Power of Love

So far in our exploration of Kogado Studio’s visual novel Nurse Love Addiction, protagonist Asuka Osachi has had a lot to deal with.

The interesting thing about this visual novel is that while it might initially appear to be a fairly straightforward yuri romance, as you progress through each of the routes it becomes much more of a mystery narrative, with each character’s unique story path providing a little more of the complete picture.

So far we’ve taken a deep dive into the stories that Asuka’s sister Nao and the mysterious, enigmatic Itsuki have to share. Today, it’s the turn of the game’s resident princess, Sakuya Takeda. Major spoilers ahead, as ever!

Continue reading Nurse Love Addiction: The Power of Love

Nurse Love Addiction: The Smell of Gas Lights

As we’ve already seen in our initial exploration of the common route and Nao’s ending, Nurse Love Addiction is a visual novel that goes in some interesting and unexpected directions.

Rather unusually for a visual novel where the routes are themed around the protagonist developing romantic and/or sexual feelings for one of the heroines, the game features quite a few examples of relationships that can be quite reasonably regarded as unhealthy — even in that route’s supposedly “good” ending.

A great example is that of Itsuki, a character who you know pretty much from the outset is going to be trouble — and how. Let’s take a closer look. As always, there will be major spoilers ahead.

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Nurse Love Addiction: Living in the Here and Nao

We’re going to spend a few articles exploring and dissecting the visual novel Nurse Love Addiction by Kogado Studio. There will, of course, be major spoilers ahead.

You might think you know what you’re getting with a pastel-coloured visual novel called Nurse Love Addiction that depicts five pretty nurses getting along swimmingly with one another on its cover art. And you might even be partially right; this is a visual novel with an all-female cast of (trainee) nurses and multiple narrative routes, promising potential romantic entanglements with all of the main heroines.

It’s so much more than that, though. And that’s what we’re going to delve into from today.

Continue reading Nurse Love Addiction: Living in the Here and Nao

Summer Loop: The Beach Episode as Existentialist Nightmare

The idea of existentialism is a concept that a lot of people have been brought into contact with through various forms of media — most notably for us in the gaming sphere, Taro Yoko’s masterpieces in the Nier series.

But how much do you really understand about this philosophical concept — and how might it relate to video games and visual novels? These are the things explored by Summer Loop, the third volume in the My Time With Dee Dee series of visual novels, produced by friend of the site Matt Sainsbury from DigitallyDownloaded.net.

Matt was kind enough to once again provide a copy of the game for me to explore — if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, you can find it right here!

Continue reading Summer Loop: The Beach Episode as Existentialist Nightmare