It's tough to judge Monster Hunter Tri because the series hasn't been my thing. Andrew Pfister and I tried to understand what the fuss was about when Capcom released Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite in 2009, but despite a few hours spent over beers in co-op, we left the experience scratching our heads. Monster Hunter is a genuine hit in Japan, but something's not clicking here. Capcom showed parts of how they hope to change that with Monster Hunter Tri.
There have been some key changes made to make Monster Hunter Tri more appealing.
One, the camera can be independently controlled through a second analog stick. In the PSP version, the camera proved unwieldy because tapping a shoulder button to swing the camera around couldn't always keep up with the action. That's not an issue on the Wii.
Two, the tutorial has been redesigned from the ground up. That sounds like a simple change, but it's an important one. Pfister and I didn't make it far past the tutorial in Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite because even after finish the tutorial, it didn't feel like we learned anything. The other Monster Hunter games assumed you knew what was going on and this one doesn't. Though I didn't experience the tutorial for myself, knowing that's the plan is encouraging.
Three, the online system is intended to sit right alongside Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Online play has never been a major part of Monster Hunter prior to the Wii version, simply because most users in Japan were playing near each other -- it's part of the culture. On the Wii, Capcom knows there needs to be a serious step up and even though the Japanese version includes friends lists and lobby systems, I'm told the US version is getting even more engineering tweaks to make sure it's a seamless, friendly system when people boot it up.
As someone who traditionally dismisses a new Monster Hunter, Capcom's reactions to feedback are noteworthy enough that I'm willing to give the series another shot with Monster Hunter Tri.