Critical Role First Reviews for The Legend of Vox Machina Are Out

Gizmodo
Where the first two episodes are standard fantasy fare involving a simple monster hunting quest, the Briarwood tale is a revenge story centered on stoic gunslinger Percy (Taliesin Jaffe). Jaffe’s performance comes to be a highlight of the series, whether he’s doling out dry sarcasm, exasperation at his friend’s antics, or just plain pissed off at everything. He gives his character a lot of presence, and with that connection to the larger world, he gets two of the show’s best moments. And it helps that the Briarwoods themselves—voiced at maximum villain level by Grey Griffin and Mercer himself—serve as a good juxtaposition to Vox Machina. The couple are so refined and subtle in everything they do, that the moments where they get their hands dirty are all the more impressive; they make it clear that Vox will have to get their naughty word together if they want to help their friend achieve his goals.

IGN
Bailey’s elegantly voiced Vex’ahlia and O’Brien’s suave Vax’ildan somehow exude an even stronger bond in this new format, while the heartwarming friendship between Willingham’s brute Grog and Johnson’s sweet Pike comes alive in a way that feels genuinely earned. Ray’s quirky and awkward Keyleth, by far the most relatable of the crew, brings a poignant and earnest grounding to the druid, and Riegel’s boastful and cocky Scanlan shines brightly as a standout — as do his songs. Jaffe, meanwhile, imbues Percy with a distinct sense of curiosity and intrigue that entices us to peel back the layers of his past, even if we already know it. (And of course, we can’t leave out Vex’s armored bear Trinket: the true MVP of the group.)

Inverse
Exceeding past its novelty as an adaptation of a Dungeons & Dragons livestream show, The Legend of Vox Machina for Prime Video spices up the booming fantasy genre with stunning artistry and real heart and humor. Its first bits of dialogue are a panicked, uncensored “What the f*ck?” and minutes later, a gnome with chest hair goes down on a naked elf.

Such humor rarely negates the exciting dark fantasy action that lies ahead. Nor does it disserve its meaningful themes of found families, revenge, and the self-serving exploitation wrought by the elite upper class. But its unique mischief christens Vox Machina to be more bold and riotous than anything else streaming today.

NPR
What we get in The Legend of Vox Machina is what's left over, after all of that chaos energy has been distilled into pure story. Distilled, and greatly condensed: Storylines that stretched over hours and hours on the web series play out, here, over the course of one or two half-hour episodes.

In the five episodes made available to press, the sprawling world Mercer's built doesn't get a chance to convey even a hint of its depth, but I suppose it would seem odd if it did, given the narrow remit of the animated series. Here, the team of familiar characters fight many of the same foes they did in the Critical Role campaign, and harbor many of the same secrets.

Polygon
Within the span of a dozen minutes, we get to see our main cast get drunk, puke everywhere, chop off a few limbs, and a gnome seduces an innkeeper’s daughter — bare breasts on display and all. The first two episodes stumble with this repeatedly; the characters aren’t your traditional fantasy cast, the show assures us. They say “naughty word,” argue amongst themselves, and prefer gold to glory.

Sure enough, the opening episodes spread shock value on thick. It’s rough, especially because once they finally veer off that course, the show suddenly gets really good.

The gist I've gotten is that the first two episodes suffer a bit from trying to emphasize that it's not a kid's show, but once the Briarwood arc gets started in episode three it's excellent.
 

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JEB

Legend
The gist I've gotten is that the first two episodes suffer a bit from trying to emphasize that it's not a kid's show, but once the Briarwood arc gets started in episode three it's excellent.
Hopefully the non-Critters that enjoy the shock value in the first two episodes outweigh the non-Critters who are turned off by it.
 



Hopefully the non-Critters that enjoy the shock value in the first two episodes outweigh the non-Critters who are turned off by it.
I'd be surprised if that's the case, because the "try-hard"/"cringe"-level is pretty damn high with the first episode particularly. But you never know! Certainly if there wasn't such a mismatch with what I'd heard about Critical Role and what I saw in the first episode, I might have just stopped watching myself. As it was I decided to give it one more episode to at least tone it down a bit - and it does - but it's not a great way to open.
 



darjr

I crit!
Is this good on rotten tomatoes?

1168B99A-07F4-43B3-A8E3-7F345E0C12E0.jpeg
 

Hussar

Legend
I'll admit, I've never listened to the show, have really no idea about the setting or any knowledge of the character going in.

LOVED it. First couple of episodes are hilarious. Scanlan the bard is just exactly what D&D bard should be. Totally over the top, scene cheeringly gorgeous.

So, my answer to "will non-Critters be turned off?" Well, I certainly wasn't. Watched the first three episodes back to back and I want to keep watching.

It's a real shame that dragons in the game are nowhere near this terrifying.
 


GreyLord

Legend
Is this good on rotten tomatoes?

View attachment 150949
I don't know.

Only 402 audience ratings seems kind of low right now.

It could be just how long it's been out though and not enough time to garner reviews.

Peacemaker has over 800 thus far and Book of Boba Fett is over 1600.

Both low compared to movies like Encanto, but high compared to unknown movies.

It seems the lower the number of ratings the higher the rating in general for fan centered materials. The more ratings the more it evens out and then you can see what the general public might think rather than the hardcore fans.

Peacemaker probably hasn't even gotten where we are seeing how the general public thinks of it yet with it's numbers, so I'm not sure if the score for Vox Machina really tells what those other than fans think of it yet...then again...maybe?
 


AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
It's funny. I watched the first two episodes of Arcane and then pretty much dropped it. It's still on my watch list, but, I just can't get into it. Don't know why.
I could go on about it but instead of derailing this thread on Vox Machina, I’ll say that the end of episode 3 of Arcane I hear frequently cited as the major hook.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Horrid garbage. I will only add to say that given the pushback on the violent and sexist nature of D&D in the old days, this does nothing to encourage a better view of the game today. No, this is a far cry from what D&D is to me, and frankly you can keep it. I was never impressed with CR before, and my opinion of them has sunk even lower.

I get it, its TV-MA and "It's not for kids", but kids are going to view it. Vulgarity and shock-value is all it really has, which is sad considering all that D&D can be. The fact this is even associated with a game I grew up with and loved for decades saddens me more than I can express.

I wasn't expecting much from the trailer, but since I renewed my Prime account a while ago I thought I would give it a shot. I would like to say that I was just disappointed, but I really can't since it was even worse than I expected. :(
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
I'll admit, I've never listened to the show, have really no idea about the setting or any knowledge of the character going in.

LOVED it. First couple of episodes are hilarious. Scanlan the bard is just exactly what D&D bard should be. Totally over the top, scene cheeringly gorgeous.

So, my answer to "will non-Critters be turned off?" Well, I certainly wasn't. Watched the first three episodes back to back and I want to keep watching.

It's a real shame that dragons in the game are nowhere near this terrifying.
My wife loved it and had no clue regarding Critical Role beforehand.
 

Although I do not care for CR on YouTube, I did give the show a try.

I was blasted by it. I really liked it and I can't wait for the next episode. I really like the Briarwood as villains.

I was not disappointed to have given it a try.
Bit it is really for a mature audience. Do not let your kids watch it.
 

Only 402 audience ratings seems kind of low right now.

It could be just how long it's been out though and not enough time to garner reviews.

Peacemaker has over 800 thus far and Book of Boba Fett is over 1600.
It's at 27 critic reviews and 914 fan reviews now (only 100 behind Peacemaker).
Still 100% for critic and at 93% for fans.
 

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