Here we are again, introducing a selection of the best maps of September. Come take a look at the Beatmap Spotlights, and snag yourself a shiny new medal in the process!
Congratulations to the winners of the August 2017 Spotlights. They receive one month of supporter status for their efforts!
Handsome's ranked map, RELOADED, works most effectively thanks to its limited framework. The map is designed around a strict symmetrical object placement gimmick, along with the restriction of almost all sliders moving only upwards. Through this design, it provides an engaging experience that no other maps can provide!
In his mapset, Frey presents us a fast-paced dubstep piece by renowned artist Pegboard Nerds. Five full difficulties of non-stop intense gameplay, all mapped fully by none other than himself. The very nature of the set brings us a genuine feeling of coherence and unity, a rare sight in the modern jungle of collaborations and guest difficulties.
From the 'Normal' difficulty we are already introduced to his characteristic clean style, which relies heavily on visual appeal by minimizing overlaps and prioritizing blankets. The style becomes more pronounced as we progress up the difficulties, with denser rhythms and spacing freedom allowing for a more distinct aesthetic. Everything culminates in the 'Night Begins' difficulty, where we see energetic patterns left and right, all arranged in an elegant, simple fashion.
A charming set that shows that one does not have to break boundaries to secure a spot in the spotlights, as even the simplest of styles, when mastered, are able to do so!
Inspired to come out of mapping retirement, La Cataline's guest difficulty adds additional charm to Mirash's tantalising mapset of her song - "Beginnings". This flagship difficulty has a taste from times long since past, but easily holds up to the modern standards of mapping.
Don't discount the rest of the spread though, especially not the 'Collab Insane', which consists of varied unique patterns and interesting stylistic choices! With such diverse talent, this is one gem you certainly don't want to miss!
toybot, ProfessionalBox, Sing & byfar. A quick glance at the collaborator's names would already tell you that you're in for an extravagant composition. Filled with modern patterns and energy-filled gameplay, this mapset is accompanied by an alluring storyboard put together by famous storyboarders -Tochi and Storyboarder!
As the song progresses from a calming, tropical tone to an energetic drumstep drop, we can observe a similar gradual increase in map intensity. The general style remains consistent, while the rhythms and spacing are slowly amped up. Carefully crafted by the four mappers, their novel styles meld effortlessly into one another, creating a feeling of smooth harmony. It's simply dazzling as to how easily the mapping flows from one section to the next, while still giving the punch that it needs for the kiais.
An interestingly modern take on a lovely song, this marathon will not disappoint anyone looking for both a calming experience, or a challenging one!
With JINGO JUNGLE, Plaudible provides us with an incredibly fun mapset with a unique way of arranging patterns and selecting slider shapes. The concepts are consistent across all difficulties, which makes the spread feel very coherent. This one is totally worth checking out for those who enjoy alternating maps!
This month's winning osu!taiko set is Epitorica no Matsuri by tasuke912, a low BPM map with high entertainment value! The map offers a large variety of patterns, with off-beat patterns, 1/6+1/8 in your normal 1/4 patterns and some slider velocity changes, all following the song's varied nature. A well-done and fun map to top this month.
Just two months after the very first ranked Kobaryo map and already we are treated to another! Consisting of 7 difficulties mapped by Raiden himself, Magical Sanctuary is an excellent addition to the rising popularity of speedcore maps in osu!taiko.
Rushing past at 333 BPM (though mapped to 166.5), the map is an exciting rush of adrenaline for all players. In the hardest difficulty "Hakai", Raiden does not shy away from using slider velocity changes and more complex snaps to further emphasize the intense nature of the song. A worthy addition to the monthly spotlights for sure.
Oh my, what do we have here? Another map from _yu68? After months of intense discussion, MANIERA is finally ranked! With additional support from 3 guest mappers, MANIERA spans an impressive 7 difficulties, catering to players of all levels.
The song is known for its quirky rhythms, and all difficulties reflect this by utilizing complex snaps. The highest difficulty "Virtuoso" is noteworthy in its extensive use of consecutive 1/8th doublets. This is the first time a map of this kind has been ranked, and hopefully this will push mapping into new and uncharted territories!
What is this grass in the editor? That's slider velocity (SV) changes, and Nifty's Time Traveler has a lot of them, ranging from high SV in the kiai to low SV in the calm 1/3 snapped sections, making this map a unique playing experience! Everything in this map fits cohesively together. Other than that, this set features fair lower difficulties and rare, tricky 1/4 patterns.
Introducing yet another great Slider Velocity themed mapset by Nofool! On lower difficulties you'll enjoy some slight Slider Velocity changes, matching perfectly to the music. This is extremely rare, as these kind of gimmicks are almost always exclusively used on difficulties Oni and above.
The way these SVs are done on the Inner Oni difficulty fits perfectly to the eye and the ear, being smooth to watch and fitting extremely well to the song. With this set, Nofool once again shows that he is one of the most proficient osu!taiko SV mappers. Big shoutout to him!
Topping the September osu!catch Spotlights we have a song by community favourite band REOL! This time, JBHyperion graces us with a not-so-often seen Circle Size 5 difficulty, utilising a variety of patterns ranging from streams to strong antiflow movements all while graciously blending several layers of instruments within the rhythm choices. This map is sure to test players' precision skills as accurate movements are vital here. For those looking for a little less of a challenge it's good news, as this amazing Overdose difficulty is accompanied by a wonderfully executed Rain, which will also let less skilled players enjoy the song.
Rounding out this month's spotlights, Kyuare's mapset of 'Lilieze to Enryuu Laevateinn' brings us another taste of their signature style. Rapid direction changes and dense streams requiring rapid inputs provide a consistently challenging flow but still feels natural to play. With a healthy spread of difficulties this mapset is worth checking out for any catch player.
Submitted over one year ago, Curiossity's Airborne Robots has certainly seen a lot of improvement. From an overally repetitive map, it has become one of the best maps the 4k mania community has seen.
Well balanced spread, good touch of simple but yet effective slider velocity changes combined with crazy slow Long Note sections and harsh mini-jacks. The mapset overall has a bit of everything and it will be enjoyable for everyone who either wants a challenge or just likes to enjoy easier difficulties. Well done Curiossity.
Mania's had a rather lackluster month this time around, so Maxus's newest marathon map YELL!, with long notes, slider velocity changes, and jacks is a refreshing addition to this month's spotlights.
Starting the map, the player is introduced to some light jacks with half a measure long hold notes, which leads into a buildup of 1/8 bursts that will challenge the player's speed and reading. Making it past that is a calm section consisting of many half-beat Long Notes of which goes into a transitional phrase with a fair amount of minijacks peppered throughout.
Players will be taken by surprise at the height of the song with a long note section full of quickly timed 1/4ths which will require precise holding and releasing to get through with a high accuracy. While not terribly difficult, this will definitely challenge and force your average player out of their comfort zone and serves as an excellent introduction to harder types of patterning not commonly found in the ranked section.
And that is the end of this month's Spotlight listing. We hope that you click, drum, catch, and mash your heart out on these maps and earn a shiny medal for your profile page! Look forward to next month's installment!