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Critics' Conundrum: Balancing Subjectivity and Objectivity in Gaming

Being a critic is no easy task, especially when it comes to balancing subjective and objective opinions. It's essential to avoid being too subjective ...

Katie Wickens

Jan 29, 2024

Critics' Conundrum: Balancing Subjectivity and Objectivity in Gaming


Being a critic is no easy task, especially when it comes to balancing subjective and objective opinions. It's essential to avoid being too subjective or too objective, as both extremes have their drawbacks. In the world of video games, finding this delicate balance can be particularly challenging. As I pondered this concept, I found myself reflecting on my experiences with games like Elden Ring and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, it was my anticipation for Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth that truly reignited this conundrum.

Finding the Balance:
The struggle between subjective and objective viewpoints is one that all critics face. Elden Ring, a game praised by many, left me perplexed. It seemed that its acclaim was derived from an esoteric love for FromSoft's previous works. I longed for something different, my subjective opinion urging the game to change. I failed to meet the game on its own terms, allowing my personal biases to cloud my judgment.

A similar struggle arose with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Although I wasn't moved by its emptiness or captivated by its promises, I made an effort to approach it objectively. Despite my lack of personal enjoyment, I could still appreciate its technical achievements and the unique experiences it offered to others. While I didn't enjoy it more than Elden Ring, I found myself more engrossed in the conversations surrounding it, even going so far as to nominate and vote for it in TheGamer Aces.

The Anticipation of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth:
Having started the series with Yakuza: Like a Dragon, I knew what to expect from Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. It takes a lot for a game to move me to tears, but Like a Dragon managed just that. As I eagerly await the release of Infinite Wealth, I find myself revisiting this age-old conundrum of subjective and objective viewpoints.

The Influence of Passionate Fans:
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth has garnered rave reviews, largely due to its status as a beloved series with a dedicated fanbase. Critics who are fans of the series naturally have a predisposition to appreciate the game's unique quirks. This phenomenon was also observed with Elden Ring and Tears of the Kingdom. This isn't to say that these reviews are "fake" or biased; rather, it highlights the reality that pre-existing admiration for a series influences perception.

Accepting Games for What They Are:
The reviews of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth primarily indicate that it is perfect for fans of the series. While I loved the previous installment, I must admit that I struggled with its slower pacing in the beginning, as I did with the earlier Kiwami. However, I've come to realize that these design choices are intentional and serve to enhance the melodramatic storytelling that defines the Yakuza series. Appreciating games as they are, rather than wishing for them to conform to our personal tastes, is a valuable lesson to learn.


As I eagerly anticipate my journey through Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, I am prepared to be fully absorbed by its captivating world. However, should this not be the case, I recognize that it is not the game's fault but rather a reflection of my own preferences. Balancing subjective and objective opinions is a constant struggle for critics, but it is through this ongoing battle that we gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse world of gaming.

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