This game is a tale of two bastardizations. In trying to satisfy both casual fans and those who want more depth, Madden NFL 10 for Wii tries to serve two masters. In the end I don’t think it achieves ­either ­goal.

At its most casual, Madden becomes unsatisfying when you can’t get a play you want or if throwing only to the hot route receiver is the wrong read for your QB. The latter is dangerous as it basically treats you like a rookie QB locking on to a single receiver, ignoring the rest of the field. This can quickly become a pick six if you’re not careful.

As you move up the difficulty ladder and add more layers to the game, you are basically jumping through more and more frustrating hoops to get access to gameplay features that are available to you more readily on the other versions of Madden. Wading through the advance play and pre-snap menus can cost you a delay of game, and not only are those pre-play options skeletal, the interface doesn’t accommodate for quick adjustments – particularly on defense. Add in the difficulty passing the ball the game presents in terms of both selecting a receiver and accuracy, and it’s going to be a ­long ­afternoon.

De-emphasizing the Superstar and Franchise modes from last year (they are unlockable via code), this game’s focus is on offering more multiplayer and co-op options. These include being able to play with invisibility, fast feet, lots of fumbles, and more. You can also wager showdown points before games and generate minigames during dramatic moments. I appreciate the spirit of these modes, but no matter how you shake things up, I just don’t think the gameplay can support this title.