Football, as Jimmy Greaves once said, is a funny old game. In fairness, Greavsie probably meant it's funny as in it's a game of two halves and anything can happen (insert your own cliché here), but he almost certainly didn't have FIFA 09 on the Wii at the time.
If he had, he may have stayed in and drunk a bit less, but more importantly, he would have discovered that football can be many different kinds of fun when you grab its shirt tail, scythe it down mid-dribble, and spit a big gob of cuteness right in its contorted face.
Fortunately, that's exactly what EA has done with the latest instalment of their multi-million selling football franchise, giving the game a cheeky 'All-Play' sub- title and an extra 8 vs 8 'footii match' option among other novice-friendly features.
This means that, stood side by side on the shelf, the Wii version is a mischievous Paul Gascoigne to the PS3 and Xbox 360's more serious Neville brothers, but we all know what happened to the mercurial Geordie, so is this the best new football game on the Wii or will we soon find it slumped in a bargain bin feeling sorry for itself?
The extra 'All- Play' aspects offer four 'party games' unique to the Wii where players are a mixture of Miis and cutesy pro footballers. This isn't as bad as it sounds, although three of the games, juggling, boot it and table football are the same as in FIFA 08 and are included purely to appeal to the Wii's casual gamers.
There is some fun in sticking Wayne Rooney in goal and making him fling himself around, but it's pretty limited and even the addition of multiball in the slightly better table football doesn't make these extras worth much of your time.
What will interest some players though is the 8v8 Footii match, where the same big-headed superstar Mii players can be used to have a light-hearted kick around. There are 12 international teams on offer, and with each nation you beat, you take their particular superstar, from Ribery (complete with facial injuries) to Ronaldinho, until you've unlocked the all-star team.
It's a nice idea and a fun break from the real game at times, but 8v8 is the kind of feature that will only really last in multiplayer, and as far as we can see, there isn't an option to play this aspect online, instantly limiting its appeal.
The more serious game does have good online support though, and you can take on other gamers in one off games or online leagues with fairly minimal lag, a feature that adds longevity, particularly to a football game where players can dip in and out easily.
The Footii match is an attempt to make FIFA more accessible, particularly to the Wii audience with more young and casual gamers than other platforms, and for these players, it will add extra value (right down to showing you how many calories a game of table football has burned. We kid you not!). However, for the seasoned, serious as Steve Bruce's nose, 'I've played FIFA since 94' people, it will just be an annoyance.
So by trying to squeeze two ideas in for the price of one, have EA watered down the main game, leaving FIFA fans disappointed? Far from it.
Where FIFA 08 on the Wii had about as much strength in depth as the current Tottenham team, FIFA 09 has oodles of serious football action to keep anyone busy. There are 32 leagues and 22 cups all in all, and with every single whistle and bell that you'd expect from the FIFA licenses, the coverage is comprehensive.