Most of the people who know me pretty well also know this game pretty well, and know that I like it a lot. Most of the people who know me, also can't stand it. Something about the lack of a defined up and down just messes with their heads. Also, I like using the keyboard to play, which is another aspect that my friends don't understand. <shrug> I really like the freedom of movement in the game (I never really get confused or anything) and the keyboard allows me to have all of the commands I need right next to one finger or another.
To each his own, I suppose. :-)
In addition, beyond the appeal of the inherent, archaic DOSsiness, the D1 X patch for the game makes it look all nice and pretty - OpenGL is quite a nice thing.
So, check it out... download the shareware version and have fun flying around and spinning all over the place. Or, get sick from it and feel queasy for the rest of the night. Your mileage may vary. :-P
Update: Per request, the most recent Descent shareware demo can be downloaded here. Hopefully the unmodified shareware version of will function sufficiently - apparently D1X only works with the registered version. (And work it does! Makes it all purty and such. :-)
Also, note that the controls will take some time to get used to. Ostensibly, Descent is best played with a joystick with lots of buttons and movement axes (handle twist, etc.), but I've had pretty good success with just the keyboard. Like I said, your mileage may vary. :-)