“All-Pro Basketball somehow results in a worse game than its spiritual predecessor, Hoops.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
All-Pro Basketball was the one basketball game I somehow missed during Basketball Week. It is a “meh” title that does not really stand out. It is neither the worst of the b-ball lot, nor the greatest, and not even close. Give me Tecmo NBA or even Ultimate Basketball if you must. Heck, I would rather play Double Dribble or Arch Rivals. And, honestly, even Harlem Globetrotters, even if purely for sentimental reasons.
My point: The reason that I could forget an entire NES basketball game like All-Pro is simply because it, in itself, is so darn forgettable. It does nothing well, but is an intact game. It is just kinda there.
Read The Full Review For: The most interesting thing about All-Pro Basketball is that it was built on the same 8-bit basketball simulator engine as Hoops. This fact is explored in more detail in the review, pointing out various ways you can tell, and how it actually makes the game worse. For one thing, Hoops was a two-on-two game, with a large part of its charm due to the playground feel of picking your custom squad of two athletes with varying abilities and strengths to choose form. But All-Pro? Just the same big, bland, boring teams, wrapped in shallow casings of location and name. Oh, also: A very interesting (to me, and possibly any other NBA buffs who also happen to have an interest in NES games) historical factoid revealed.
NES Gameplay Tips for All-Pro Basketball: Okay, NES basketball games tends to be tough and present players with a learning curve, but this one is rougher even than most. This is the only way I can figure out how to have a chance: On defense, stay under the rim, and come out just a little to contest any incoming dunk attempts. This, if done correctly, will usually result in blocked dunks. Sure, they will take some jumpers, even hit some, but that is the best you can do. On offense, if you get any kind of window, take it — run that ball straight to the hoop whenever possible. But until you have it on your own court, it can even just be tricky to get it across. Be a little patient, pick your passes, but do not be so slow as to get picked off yet again. The inbounds pass is an example of a moment where you can afford to take an extra second to make sure you find a good outlet target. Good luck.