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Private Nurse
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 03/05/2003

Description:
You are a high school student named Hiroki. You've been plagued by an inexplicable illness for years, and even doctors are not certain as to how you can get well. One day, a cheery private nurse named Maria arrives on your doorstep. She says she's going to take care of you for one month. What's more, she's very confident that you will get well. But just who is Maria? Is she really the private nurse your mother hired? Or is she something that's other than human...?

Review:
Private Nurse was not at all what I had imagined. I was expecting a nurse fetish title like "Kango Shicyauzo", but Private Nurse's story-driven gameplay makes it more comparable to the widely acclaimed "Kana: Little Sister".

As Hiroki, you have three main girls in your life: Ayano, your best friend since childhood; Maria, your private nurse; and Mio, the school nurse. Ayano and Maria play the biggest parts since Ayano lives practically next door and Maria will be living with you for a month, while you only get to see Mio when you visit the school clinic. Just who among the three you attribute your recovery to will decide what kind of story and ending you will get.
You have 30 game days with which to work on your health and your subsequent lovelife. It's really kind of tricky because the first time I played I was determined to get Maria's full story (I got the feeling she wasn't an ordinary girl), so I made all the choices which I thought would lead me there but surprise, surprise... I got Ayano instead! It was only after my first game that I got the hang of it, and I completed Maria and Mio's paths afterwards. I didn't even know Mio was also an option until I asked around.

Private Nurse's artwork is incredible. Gorgeous character designs, along with a combination of vibrant CG renditions, soft pastel and water color effects all make for an amazing visual feast. Sex is depicted explicitly but never comes across as tacky or vulgar. The game also utilizes a unique system wherein you get a randomly selected sex scene with Maria every time you make love to her. As a result, it can be rather complicated getting 100% of the CGs. I should mention that the background music and theme song are really nice and fitting for the game as well.

Of course, I also have a few qualms about Private Nurse. First of all, saving is something of a pain. I like saving before major decision points so I can backtrack easily, but Private Nurse only lets you resume your saves at the beginning of each game day. Well at least there's a message skip option to let you breeze through dialogues you've already read. Another thing is, in Maria's story, the game goes on after 30 days -- after which the pacing slows down to a crawl. You live with Maria for a few years after you graduate from high school to the point where things stagnate, and it was such a chore having to read about Hiroki and Maria's daily rituals for a long time before the final resolution is reached.

Private Nurse is overall an excellent game. Playing it felt uniquely refreshing, which can perhaps be attributed to the game's emphasis on nature. Whatever the case, this is one title bishoujo gamers shouldn't pass up.

Miscellanies:
Private Nurse is comprised of two discs.

Screenshots
Private Nurse
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Review Title:
Private Nurse
Released:
2001
Approximate Length:
10-30 Hours
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Genres:
Comedy, Drama, Normal Sex
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