One of my all-time favorite boss fights.
This is a great question, and may serve to start down the path towards a gigantic can of worms, figuratively speaking.
A lot has been written about game criticism itself, including this recent post from . The topic itself has, in some ways, only very recently emerged as a subject to be taken seriously; after all, films have had their serious critics for years, but do video games even have their own Roger Ebert figure(s) yet?
To answer your question, though, I definitely feel more toward the latter than the former. I do not think the binary right/wrong way of thinking is completely without merit, though, as there are certainly best practices, etc. I just think that the spectrum of quality in games analysis is more important than a pass/no-pass grade.
Video games are, indeed, complex interactive experiences that can be served by different methods of analysis. Two people can react to a movie with differing opinions — but they still had the exact same media experience. Not so with electronic gaming, and I am sure you can imagine the quagmires this leads to, both serious and non- (“you just dislike it ‘cause you suck at it!).
I think there are ‘wrong’ ways to analyze games insofar as the simple fact that you can be very stupid in your analysis. A good critique is a smart one, well-founded and sincere, written clearly from a point of reason.
My favorite producer is Joe Walker of the Backlog. He may be only a community member who gets the spotlight every once in a while, but his show, which covers obscure, fun, and cheap games, more than deserves to be an official part of RWTV.