LOL. I'm not going to touch the stuff on Infinite jest, but you do understand waht those quoted critics are saying (albethey from Wikipedia) about The Lord of the Rings? Judith Shulevitz isn't actually overly critical of teh novel itself, rather that Tolkein was writing in what was beginning to be considered an outdated style. If the book had been written 20 or 30 years earlier the same literature would have been lauded by even her as well - she finds that his literature was overly grandoise for his day and age, and if you read her actual article it is in truth far more about reconciling the present day influences of Tolkien's work with his literary preservatism. See here: http://www.nytimes.com/books/0... her full article was posted in the NY times book review magazine.
And don't even get me started on Richard Jenkyns - the wikipedia page did a wonderful hackjob on his article the full quote reads thus: "Tolkien's style has been both loved and loathed. I find it hard to make up my mind. In small quantities, his prose can seem to have a kind of timeless dignity and simplicity, sometimes eloquent, sometimes even moving. But in large quantities it palls: one begins to feel that this writer is writing, very competently, in a dead language. After many pages, one starts to find the style oddly bland and characterless; ultimately it comes to seem, like other things in The Lord of the Rings, anemic, and lacking in fiber."
He was stating his personal opinion that the of the style of the writing Tolkien used was something he didn't enjoy, while still demonstrating its qualities and strongpoints. The rest of his article as well continues in this fashion as well.
Finally if Dyson's comments even count as a critique (which I contest) he is only being quoted (and quite ridiculously at that) to be protesting the number of characters and detail Tolkien's novel(s) contain in Old English. This has been considered a flaw of the series in general, and makes them dry to some peolpe (as Jenkyn's says he feels) but these same people still laud them for their scope and significance, and contribution to modern fantasy and literature as a whole. As it is said: life replicates art.
So take everything you read on wikipedia with a grain of salt - Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books can be considered an objective example of good books, from the large amount of critical acclaim, to just as significantly the success, legacy and impact the novels had and continue to have on the Fantasy genre of literature.
So it is a fair point Rorschach is trying to make, if you both have somewhat stretched the issue beyond its relevance, and thus leading to my otherwise irrelevant comment.
The Last of Us already has the critical acclaim and success I believe it deserves. As with The Lord of teh Rings, there will always be people who don't like the medium and method of the story telling, but waht I think is important is that The Last of Us sets out not to tell a story as such in the way one would read a book or watch a movie (as the game has been criticized by some few), but to BE a story for the gamer.
So did you like the gameplay? Did you not? Forgive my rhetoric, I already know, after reading your comments Gregg, your thoughts on the game, but I personally did love the gameplay in a sense, but I also found the whole game difficult, if not impossible to seperate into all of its components - in fact I believe viewing these components as seperate is doing the game an injustice, for, for better or worse, the story IS the gameplay; is the environment, the stunningly and hauntingly beautiful vistas; the often dappling light; the quiet resonating music, tense dialogue and sparse sound.
While it's probably too soon to call, I think the fact that for the first time a game has been such a complete experience (for me and many others) will be its legacy, and set it on that standard.
It's not 10/10 in a traditional sense; it's flawed in places but the beauty of it is that when I was playing I didn't care. Just reflecting on the game, it feels more 'real' to me afterwards perhaps because of it's flaws, not just in spite of. I truly can't describe the feeling of post-game satisfaction and reflexion any better than that (and yes I meant 'reflexion', it's a word). You may call me a fanboy, or think I have too firmly sat myself on the hype train (even though coming home with the game for the first time I had not even heard of it before I saw the banner advertising it in EB games), but the reason that I would give it a near perfect score, and believe it
deserves all the ones it's getting is because I got so completely invested in its reality.
While I was playing I could not seperate any one of the game's elements from the experience (nor myself from it) and so it earns its right as a masterpiece in my eyes.