Review by TheSAMMIES
How Do I Let You Know?
Warning! Private School is a pornographic adventure game. If youre too young to play adult video games or if you dont want to play adult video games, then you should skip this one. Its also in Japanese and it is an untranslated adventure game with a text parser, so you need some good knowledge of Japanese to really enjoy this game. Those two big warnings are out of the way, so now anyone who is still interested can read further on this flawed curiosity known as Private School.
When I bought this game, I thought that it was going to be a video game adaptation of Private School, an 80s sex comedy movie that I really enjoyed for how cheesy and bad it was. Once I got over that disappointment, I found Private School to be an interesting, if flawed text adventure game that gives a nice look into the earlier days of what Japanese adventure games were like.
Story- Private School is about a guy trying to get into an all-girls private school so that he can have sex with some of the women. It plays out like your typical sex comedy game and has you getting into crazy situations and having to figure out how exactly youre going to get out of them. A lot of the comedy comes from characters reactions and the game trying to throw unexpected stuff at you. Its kind of funny if you think about it, but some of the jokes kind of fall flat.
While some adventure games have really good stories, Private Schools isnt exactly a classic. Its pretty stupid and is more of a vessel to get jokes and pictures of large breasted cartoon women on your computer screen. Plot is only secondary and even then its a little shallow compared to some of Elfs more plot driven games.
Presentation- Private School has a very interesting art style. Some characters look like realistic human beings with relatively normal proportions. Then others have oversized noses, eyes, and heads. One guy in particular has a head thats half the size of the rest of his body. Its kind of weird seeing them next to each other, but you get used to it by the time the games over.
The art itself is drawn in only a handful of colors. The MSX had some serious graphical limitations, so you have to expect this sort of thing when reviewing games for the system. Theres also some seriously tinny music going on during the game. It gets annoying after a while, but otherwise is okay.
Gamplay- Private School is an old school text adventure. You type verbs into the text parser and hope that its the correct verb to advance the plot. You get a handful of verbs for you to choose from, as only a limited number of them work. If you screw up too bad and type in the wrong verbs in the wrong situation, youll end up getting either a bad ending or a game over. Private School is pretty good about telling you what exactly you did that was wrong when you screw up, so the game isnt too challenging.
There are two main problems that hold Private School back. The first is that the game in incredibly linear. You dont get to do very much exploration, making the game feel a bit cramped. Second, you dont get much room for error. If you dont do the right thing at the right time, the game can become impossible to complete. Its very frustrating. I suggest that if you play this, you see if you can find a walkthrough or something. Theyre hard to find, even in Japanese, but if you can get one, it will be your best friend.
The linear gameplay coupled with the little room for error means that you will end up trying to see which verb works through trial and error. Youll end up repeating the same few scenes again to try to get it right often, which is tedious, to say the least. A save anywhere system would have helped Private School a lot. Frustrations aside, its still an enjoyable text adventure, provided that you have the knowledge of Japanese required to play. Still, you could do much better than this. There are far less flawed adventure games out there to play.
Cool Fact- The verbs that you type into the text parser are in English. Other old Japanese text adventures did this, but it is cool to think that this game isnt all in Japanese.
Also Try- Alpha, an old text adventure by Squaresoft, is about as good as Private School and has a far more engaging story. Its linearity is more frustrating, but for a pornographic Japanese text adventure, its pretty good. Wait, Squaresoft made a hentai game? Yep. Check it out if that piques your interest too.
Product Release: Private School (JP, 12/31/89)
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