23rd August: Retrovirus goes live on Gamestop Impulse: http://www.gamestop.com/pc/games/retrov ... sFeatures/
If you are dirt poor and can't afford $19.99 then there is an updated free Demo available from gamestop also: http://www.gamestop.com/pc/games/retrovirus-demo/104513
The Beta is scheduled for November release, and I think there will be two Alpha updates in between.
This release includes Alpha Joystick support, and it is working incredibly well for an Alpha. The Live Stream today was a great watch, and well worth taking a look at: the new sounds, and new lighting will blow you away - and the caverns of the BIOS will make you think "Pure Descent".
Check it out: http://www.own3d.tv/cadenzainteractive
The way the ship is flying with the Joystick is beautiful - even without Trichording present, and the sliding power of the ship is now improved, with sliding acceleration easily up to Descent's performance. The new way the "Boost" feature works will take some time to get to grips with properly, and begin exploiting well. The way boost works changes depending on whether you were piloting a direction before hitting the boost or not. You can actually boost along a sliding axis, as well as the forward/backward axis!
The Joystick (in my case, Logitech 3D Pro) is exceedingly sensitive, and even with the X, Y and Twist axis sensitivity turned down to 5%, it requires a steady hand to aim and navigate well. I anticipate a change when the "Classic" gameplay mode is developed and released. For now though, the Joystick is simply hacked into the game such that you can achieve dizzying turning and ship rotation speeds. This might even be something you would really like, if you had great joystick control and a KICK455 graphics card installed, but my old HD 4850 is not really able to pump enough frames to make superfast turning a good experience at 1680.
I know I'm going to end up needing a new AMD 6990 or similar, because I want to push this at 5040 x 1050 across three screens, and with eyecandy maxed out, that will be a considerable challenge.
Thoroughly recommend you dust off the joystick, and get over to Impulse to get the game, and have some fun! The game is coming along really well, and I have just been playing in the Challenge mode - in the time trial. What a great flight training level this is, and what fun it is to collect rings like Sonic, to build up your speed until it goes into Ludicrous Speed mode.
This is shaping up to one seriously awesome gaming experience, but don't take my biased word for it - go check it out for yourself!