(Screenshot by me, not that it matters with this game since any screen shot you get of this game is going to be pretty much identical.)
Man I hated this game as a kid with a passion. Or maybe it wasn't that I hated it so much as it was one of the first games to make me very nervous in a way only first person shooters do now.
It's that feeling of impending doom looming. With FPS's I expect someone to get me from behind or generally blow me up. With this one, I always knew my poor base was going to be invaded, and it didn't help that the AT-ATs never stop coming. It's pretty much a guarantee that I am going to lose. This is one of the few games I've played where I lose and still have lives left.
This was also one of the first games to really show me how pointless 2600 games were. After a round of this, it was obvious that most of the games we had didn't have endings to serve as my pat on the back for doing a good job. Well, except for Pele's soccer which, as a kid, I liked to play on my own set to two players so I could score against the goalie and get that fireworks show.
So I didn't play this one very often because it lead to young gamer's depression (which I only seemed to get pre-NES). But every so often, something would make me give this game a try again.
I think that as I've gotten older, I've come to enjoy this one more. Right now, this is the most I've ever enjoyed this. I am even more aware that I am going to fail, and I have all sorts of depressing ways to compare this to the game of Real Life. (Like how I keep imagining myself old and gray and ready to pass on, but loudly protesting, "But I have more lives left!")
But still. Knowing that I'm eventually going to lose actually gives way to a kind of abandon. Screw strategy, I attack each AT-AT as quickly as I can, trying to hit those blinking vulnerability spots and avoiding those bullets. It's actually kinda fun when I get into it.
And I've come to think that you aren't really losing so much as it's just the game always ends the same. Sure, that means the Empire always beats the Rebels, but hey, not every story can have a happy ending.