Reviews

Henchman Story Review

Henchman Story

Superhero stories are a dime a dozen, with the reader following the exploits of caped heroes and their trusty companions as they fight villain after villain. There are even stories that have tried to flip the script and focus on the supervillains, wanting to show what makes them tick.

But what about the forgotten fodder in these superhero vs. supervillain clashes? The people who start out the battle, holding off the hero until the big battle occurs?

Well, Henchman Story is just the visual novel for you if you wanted to see a story in the eyes of a regular henchman.

Henchman Story switch review 2021

Developer: Silken Sail Entertainment
Publisher: Top Hat Studios
10 Hours Played // Self Purchased // $14.99

Just a Normal Henchman Story

You play as Stan the Henchman, a regular nobody who works under the infamous Lord Bedlam. With a name like that, this guy must be the real deal right? The most fearsome of villains, who causes civilians and heroes alike to shake in their boots? Well, given that the game opens up with Stan and his supervisor Dave helping on a heist to steal dog kibble, I’m sure you can guess how “fearsome” Lord Bedlam tends to be.

Henchman Story switch review 2021

Take in the greatness of Lord Bedlam himself.

Much like your typical 9-5, but with more injuries and strange feud with the cafeteria chef, Stan is just going through the motions. He wakes up, washes up, does his assigned task for the day, eats lunch, go back to said assigned task, and then gets off work to rest for the rest of the day. Rinse and repeat. However, that all changes one day when a new assignment has been given, and it’s not the normal pet store burglary that you’re already used to. From there, Stan’s life gets flipped on its head and he finds himself stuck between two rocks, both staring him down with crushing expectations.

Choices Galore

Henchman Story is a visual novel, where you advance the story by reading text. Throughout the game, there are several choices that you will be faced with. Some choices don’t really matter and only change the response that you see from a particular character. Other choices will affect how a character is feeling about you. These choices tend to be fairly obvious and you just have to keep the character’s personality in mind when working to appeal to them (or go against them). Lastly, there are choices that will change the entire trajectory of the story, letting you go down different paths altogether.

Henchman Story switch review 2021

No matter your choice, the result is all the same.

With more than 10 endings, there is a lot to be experienced with Henchman Story. And that’s just the endings. Henchman Story is also part dating sim. However, the picks are pretty slim on this side, so if you’re looking for a new dating sim to sink your teeth into, this visual novel may not be up your alley. Nonetheless, the options that are there were fun to play through. For those who wish to 100% the game, there aren’t a lot of tools at your disposal. There is no tree to reference or any way to skip to a specific chapter, so you will need to keep track of your choices and maintain plenty of save files to go back to specific points. There is a skip functionality however, which can make the monotonous process of getting every route a bit easier to deal with.

Comic Influence

Given that Henchman Story is a story about a henchman who works for a supervillain organization, the comic influence is to be expected. There were not corners cut with this game. Everything from the writing, the styling, the sound effects, and the voices are top notch and pay homage to the more campy side of comics. While I myself would not call myself a comic fan, I have watched the occasional movie and cartoon. While there are serious moments in Henchman Story, the overall vibe of the game is very humorous and satirical.

Henchman Story switch review 2021

Shining Nova to the rescue! …But not yours.

Of course, that does mean that there are tropes galore, from both character development and storytelling point of view. However, many of the tropes mainly find themselves kept to the side cast, with the main characters more than making up for any weakness that shows up with character personality. That being said though, none of the characters are halfhearted in their attempts. It can make it equal parts fun to watch but also a touch infuriating. Supervisor Dave, I understand that you are a happy man, but if you pound on my bedroom door at six in the morning one more time, we will actually have to fight.

Strong Voice Cast

Henchman Story switch review 2021

The voice cast is exceptional in Henchman Story.

As mentioned earlier, Henchman Story is voiced acted, and (almost) fully voiced acted at that! With the exception to Stan’s inner monologues, every line has a voice actor behind it. A lot of these voice actors have experience in anime, cartoons, and other video games, with others just getting their feet wet with this title. Anairis Quinones (My Hero Academia, Ys IX), Marc Soskin (Dragonball Z Abridged, Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged), Ellisa Park (My Time at Portia), and Anthony Sardinha (A Hat in Time, Paw Patrol) are just a few of the voice actors involved with this game. And truthfully speaking, each and every character was great.

Sharp Styling

The game’s art and music are other points that I want to tip my hat towards. Heavy black outlines, colors that pop, and uniformity to keep things nice and consistent are some of the artistic choices I noticed with Henchman Story’s art. The styling is a mix between comics and anime, leaning more towards the later when it comes to how the characters are drawn.

Henchman Story switch review 2021

There are plenty of CGs to unlock throughout your many playthroughs.

There are plenty of CGs to collect as you go throughout the game. Once you come across a pivotal scene, you may see a fully illustrated piece. These pieces can be viewed at any point from the main menu and remain a decent way at keeping track of which routes you’ve gone down and how many more scenes you’ll need to find. When it comes to the music and sound effects, there is definitely a lot of influence from older superhero shows. With an abundance of saxes and guitar riffs, you’ll find yourself getting right into the funky mood of the game. A lot of the music does end up blending together in the background, but none of it is offensive to the ears.

Carve Your Path as a Henchman

Henchman Story definitely has a unique premise compared to the other visual novels currently available on the Switch. Marketing itself a humorous story staring a villain henchman, you fall down the rabbit hole as Stan finds himself in quite the conundrum.

Superheroes on one end, supervillains on the other, and his future goals are the only thing that will guide you forward. You can play through scenarios with a decent amount of freedom, with plenty of choices to bring you back for another play-through.

The character and heart of Henchman Story is definitely its strong point. It’s always a treat to play a game that has a lot of love put into it. Everything from the writing, the art, the voice acting, and the music/sound production is top-notch. And given the price of the game, it almost feels like a steal. The length feels just right as well.

The story doesn’t drag on for too long and overstay its welcome, but stays long enough for characters to be established and the plot to build itself up. If you’re looking for a light-hearted visual novel, something to give you a chuckle or two (or more, depending on how your humor lines up with the writing), and an overall polished experience, I’d definitely say to give Henchman Story a try.

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If you stuck out until the end of this funky review of Henchman Story, then thanks for reading and visiting the site! Feel free to join the Nindie Nexus Discord, and check out the Youtube Channel as well! And if you’re looking for some more visual novel reviews, some other reviewers for the site have written up quite a number!

Henchman Story switch review 2021

Kierra has a huge love for handhelds, especially of the Nintendo variety. She’s a huge fan of SRPGs, JRPGs, visual novels, simulation games, and (almost) anything anime. When she’s not playing games, she’s procrastinating with her cosplays or wondering whether she really needs to buy another Yu-Gi-Oh figure.

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