Sean Kirkland writes: There was a time, back in the late '90s, when geeks and doe-eyed adolescents would accept anything from Japan with open arms. It was a time when DragonBall Z, Final Fantasy and Hello Kitty were in their prime, and a time when Japan-crazy teens would pay top-dollar for Pocky, just so that they could experience a sliver of the culture. Times have changed, and "Big in Japan" is not the game-selling bullet point that it used to be. A perfect example is the Monster Hunter franchise, which, despite its runaway success in Japan, has never really taken off in the West. Nevertheless, its latest title, Monster Hunter Tri, has piqued the interests of many American Wii owners asking the age old question: "Can I start with the new game, or do I need to go back and play the first two?"