Review: The Guild: Complete Megaset (DVD)

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Title: The Guild: Complete Megaset
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Studio: Flatiron Film Company
Original MSRP: $59.95
Number of Discs: 6
Language: English
Subtitles: English
MPAA Rating: NR
A copy of this movie was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this DVD is available on Episode 340 of the podcast.
340

Story:
The Guild started as a web series back in 2007 and was quickly picked up by Microsoft for Xbox Live and the Zune Marketplace (when that was a thing) for a few seasons before moving back to the web for Season Six.

Created by Felicia Day, and detailed brilliantly by Day herself in Episode 261 of Kevin Smith’s SModcast, the series began as a creative outlet for Day and her friends since they were having trouble getting anywhere in Hollywood. They actually needed funding through PayPal from fans to complete the first season.

The series centers around a group of people bound together in a Guild called The Knights Of Good in a fictional online RPG. As an avid gamer, Day decided to write about what she knew and it worked. The characters all feel familiar and funny without being too over the top.

There’s the girl who feels like she’s too cool to be hanging out with the rest of them, the teenager who just messes with everyone, the mom who neglects her kids to play the game, the frugal guy who’s maybe a little too old to be playing and the somewhat creepy stalker who’s the catalyst for the start of the series.

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As it begins, one of the Guild members has been missing for days when he suddenly shows up at the door of Cyd (Day’s character). This sets off a chain of events leading to the members of the Guild meeting, gasp, in real life for the first time. They bond over a real life quest which helps set up the relationships and interactions for the rest of the series.

Meeting in real life leads to some of the more memorable moments in the show like the cosplay segments. The introduction of a rival Guild in the Third Season, The Axis of Anarchy led by Wil Wheaton, allows the characters to grow and bond even more.

The whole series takes a fun, off-kilter look at gaming culture, hitting upon a number of situations familiar to gamers. Waiting in line at GameStop for a big launch, online rivals, conventions, social awkwardness, evil corporations, nothing’s off-limits but it’s all handled with a genuine love of the material. It’s easy to tell that Day is a lifelong gamer herself.

None of this would work without a strong cast and The Guild has that in spades. Jeff Lewis as Vork is a particular standout but each of the cast members brings their own charm and realism to their characters making them all much more than one-dimensional stereotypes.

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Video:
Being a web series, you probably wouldn’t expect too much from the video but it’s actually really good. The first season is obviously the most uneven in terms of lighting and video quality but it quickly picks up from there with each subsequent season looking better and better.

While a lot of the screen time is spent with a camera directly on the faces of the main characters as if looking at them through a web cam. It’s a good effect, allowing quick cuts between the Guild members as they argue and quest through the fictional game world.

Fortunately, there are quite a few location shoots including a GameStop and and the “Mega Game-O-Rama Con” which sets up some fun cosplay. Overall, the quality is much better than expected, especially if you’ve only ever seen the series over the web.

Audio:
So obviously you shouldn’t be expecting full Surround Sound with crazy effects, it was a web series. The audio is fine with dialogue always coming through clearly. Beyond the title sequence and credits at the end, there really isn’t any background music to speak of in the episodes themselves. This of course makes it critical for the dialogue and acting to carry the emotion and set the tone for the show and it works, giving it that indie feel.

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Bonus Features:
And here’s why you spend the money on this set rather than just watch it for free on the web. Each of the six discs is packed with tons of bonus material making this a must own for fans of the series.

Along with all the commentaries, interviews, gag reels, and behind the scenes footage, there are a number of Easter Eggs hidden amongst the menus. The addition of the script for each season as a PDF on the disc is just a fantastic idea.

Disc 1:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Director Commentary
  • Cast Interviews (18:53)
  • Audition Footage (7:15)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 1-3 (3:24)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 4-5 (6:13)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 6-10 (5:25)
  • Christmas Carol Video (1:50)
  • Season One Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

Disc 2:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Creator, Director and Producer Commentary
  • Meet the Cast (15:50)
  • Meet the Crew (8:39)
  • Meet the Extras (5:50)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 1-4 (3:52)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 5-7 (4:18)
  • Gag Reel: Episodes 8-12 (3:49)
  • Episode One Table Read (6:35)
  • Twas The Night Before Xmas (2:41)
  • Audition Footage (6:01)
  • Fan Art (0:44)
  • Season Two Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

Disc 3:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Crew Commentary
  • “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” Music Video (3:45)
  • Making Of the Music Video (6:13)
  • Halloween Video (3:48)
  • How To Build Vork’s Sword (8:27)
  • Axis of Anarchy Interviews (13:48)
  • Gag Reels (12:07)
  • Guild Applicant Rejects (9:20)
  • Tips For Making A Web Video (14:42)
  • Season Three Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

Disc 4:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Creator, Director and Producer Commentary
  • Season 1 Recap (2:56)
  • Season 2 Recap (3:42)
  • Season 3 Recap (3:18)
  • “Game On” Music Video (3:48)
  • The Making of “Game On” (9:22)
  • Avinashi Returns Featurette (5:25)
  • Cheesybeards Featurette (4:50)
  • Cheesybeards Commercial (1:00)
  • Episode One Table Read (6:34)
  • Gag Reel (4:12)
  • Season Four Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

Disc 5:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Season 4 Recap (2:25)
  • Cast Interviews (5:16)
  • Double Trouble Featurette (4:18)
  • How To Build a Con Featurette (6:01)
  • Steampunk Verite Featurette (4:17)
  • Gag Reel (3:30)
  • Table Read (7:58)
  • Season Five Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

Disc 6:

  • Cast Commentary
  • Season 6 Production Diary Featurette (45:53)
  • Behind the Scenes of The Guild (37:04)
  • “I’m The One That’s Cool” Music Video (4:06)
  • Gag Reel (5:51)
  • Season Six Script – The entire script in PDF format, requires a PC to view

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Conclusion:
The bottom line here is that The Guild is a fun little quirky comedy steeped in gamer culture. While you can certainly watch it through any number of streaming services, the video quality takes a big jump with the physical media and the Bonus Features add so much more value that it’s absolutely worth the purchase, especially for fans.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the movie using the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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