Is it real?

Review scores are bullshit. They're arbitrary and subjective, but because they've got numbers in them, people get tricked into thinking they're objective and precise. "5.5 out of 10" means very little even with context: it's noise at best and misleading at worst. Instead, the next time you want to give something a rating, use one of these.

REAL: A work is Real when it pretty much achieves what the creator wanted. It's well-crafted, engaging, and satisfying (except when it's not supposed to be). If it's caught your attention, then this work is almost certainly worth your time.[1]

ASS: A work is Ass when...well, it's not real. Whatever the creator's goals were, the work doesn't achieve them, either through huge design flaws, huge execution flaws, or both—and the end result has little to no redeeming qualities.

REAL-ASS: Sometimes you can fail and still create something interesting. A great story that blows up halfway through, a bad movie with a standout performance, Guilty Gear: The Missing Link[2]...when something fails, but it leaves a lasting impression, if there's something there for the curious or the dedicated, it is Real-Ass.[3]

These classifications are specific enough to have some level of meaning, but don't pretend to be purely objective or all-encompassing. They're a slightly more nuanced way of answering "Is this worth my time." Basically, it's the best thing ever and you should start using it immediately. You're welcome.


  1. This is kind of a broad classification, so feel free to use "fucking real" for anything that you think is really, really good ↩︎

  2. There are more than a few things wrong with Guilty Gear: The Missing Link. ↩︎

  3. The Chaos Generation Escape Clause: Any such work where the creator's intent is completely fucking incomprehensible is Real-Ass by default. ↩︎