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Written by: Ed Lau [05.21.03]
 Edited by: Carl Nelson

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City of Heroes (

While we're talking about about MMORPGs, City of Heroes is finally making a debut after years of speculation.  Following the success of last year's excellent Freedom Force, the superhero genre is finally taking off.

Set in the fictional Paragon City, you'll be able to create your own superheroes, customize their costumes and powers and fight the hordes of evil doers in "the greatest city in America".  There's not much information on specific powers just yet, except for the usual super strength, flight, super speed, etc but it does look like an incredibly interesting game.

I'm disappointed, however, that you will not be able to play as a villian though.  I would be able to put my sinister laugh (and shovel) to use.

Star Wars Galaxies (

As one of the more anticipated games, I'm surprised Galaxies didn't get more coverage on the floor except with a short video at the entrance and a little corner of the nVidia booth.  At press time, Galaxies is entering the Beta stage and you probably don't need me to tell you about it anymore.  Basically, you can roam the Star Wars universe as any of 8 races and 30 professions. 

If you're wondering, you can't choose "Jedi" as a profession as there would be a billion Jedis and that's just not realistic.  In fact, the path to becoming a Jedi isn't all that clear at the moment.


As you can guess, E3 is more about games than anything else, which means hardware is not the main attraction here.  However, I did get to see some cool products, especially a couple keyboard which had booths right beside each other. 

The first is the Zboard from Ideazon, which is a keyboard with removable keys and templates for games.  This may sound a little awkward but the switching of templates is actually very easy.  Just flip a switch on the right side and pull it off.  Instead of your standard keyboard where you may not remember the keys to, the Zboard maps out all the keys and puts them all in sensible locations.  Because of a chip built into each template, the keyboard recognizes which game will be played and chances configurations accordingly.  Of course, there is a standard keyboard template as well.  At press time, the Zboard has 5 templates available (MOHAA and expansion, Neverwinter Nights, Sid Meier's Civilization III, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, and Age of Mythology).  Madden 2003, UT2K3, Master of Orion III and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness will be available soon with many more on the way.

Of course, if you want to do something productive, the Zboard also has templates for popular office apps like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word and Excel, Macromedia Dreamweaver and more.  Look for a Zboard review in the future. (

Also in the keyboard category is the Eluminx from Auravision, which is a standard keyboard with clear, blue lighted keys.  Auravision displayed some new ones at E3 with flashy camo paint jobs but they were not available to retail at the time.  Mice are also on the way.  Look for a  Eluminx review soon as well. (

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