The Legends of Vox Machina is finally here, roaring onto Amazon Prime last weekend to the excitement of Critical Role fans new and old. We’ve been looking forward to it since its successful Kickstarter campaign, after which they were picked up by Amazon. It is a big opportunity for what started as a little live Dungeons and Dragons stream on Geek & Sundry.
As a long time fan of campaign 1, The Legends of Vox Machina was a delight to watch. The first two episodes dragged audiences straight into Exandria, introducing the rag tag bunch of mercs known as Vox Machina.
From there, the show tilted full force into what is likely one of its most popular storylines: The Briarwood Arc. A couple episodes in and it is already rife with drama, deep emotion, and Percy’s famous line: Your soul is forfeit!
I had the chance to stream the episodes with friends who are long time fans. We whooped and hollered as our favorite scenes were brought back to life in a new medium. The folks at Titmouse did not pull punches and we loved (almost) every second of it.
However, it makes sense we’d love the animated series. We did, after all, consume hundreds of hours of the live stream. I spent my last few months of graduate school devouring everything Critical Role had to offer.
What about the viewers who haven’t seen Critical Role? Who are seeing something completely new, not something reimagined. I talked with two viewers who were happy to give me their thoughts as new fans.
First, former writer for the blog Kylee Sills said it was an easy watch. She enjoyed the first three episodes and fell in love with Percy. But, without the Critical Role context, she did struggle at times. There are moments where the members of Vox Machina seem like long time friends. Then, in other moments, like they’re just getting to know each other.
It makes sense, given the short nature of the first two episodes. The writers had to fit a lot of set-up into a two episode arc. When it comes to the Briarwood arc, however, things really start to gel.
Vincent, a viewer on twitter watching for the first time, had some feedback to offer. He wanted to watch Critical Role, but the 3-5 hour long episodes made it an impossible lift. When he saw the trailer he got excited. All the same story in an easy-to-consume format.
It surprised him how quickly he was drawn in. He said “they are just so immediately alive […] even without all the context […] I still felt like I was saying hello to old friends.”
Without any context, he didn’t have any trouble following the story. He admitted he likely missed any Easter eggs, but it didn’t detract from his viewing. The writers did a phenomenal job converting hours of material to tight 20-minute episodes.
The Legends of Vox Machina calls to everyone. If you like fantasy, and if you like Dungeons & Dragons, odds are you will like this show. It is fast paced without losing any of the depth of emotion portrayed by the characters in the original stream. There are laughing moments and there are moments that will give you goosebumps.
All in all, The Legends of Vox Machina is a rollicking good time. 3 new episodes will be dropping on Friday, February 4th. You can catch up with the first three on Prime Video now!