With another two Sundays come another 24 beatmaps nominated in Project Loved! Check 'em out, and vote for your favourites!
Welcome back to Project Loved! Every two weeks, we pick out a few beatmaps from each game mode that will get their shot at making it into the Loved category. From the maps we selected, you can now vote whether or not you want them to be Loved! Click on each maps' header image in this post to be taken to its voting thread.
We've been listening to your feedback, and after some internal debate, we decided to lower osu!standard's Loved voting threshold to 85%—halfway between the previous 80 and 90. While with 80% it felt as if some maps being moved to Loved didn't quite fit the title, 90% proved to be suboptimal as well, due to the increased power given to "No" votes. Since this threshold is admittedly pretty arbitrarily decided, we'll continue to set it based on trial-and-error, and for now are going with the middleground of 85%. After confirming this with you guys via the poll on our forum, this will now be the first round to use it.
In other news, pishifat has recently interviewed Toy about the state of Project Loved over on his YouTube channel for the osu!mapping series. It's a continuation of the yearly Loved category check-up videos he puts out, and in it, both Toy and pishi discuss the challenges, benefits and drawbacks of the category as a whole. Check it out!
In case you don't read the end of this post, be sure to submit suggestions for beatmaps to be added to Loved using the Google form! All of the nominated beatmaps are chosen from submissions on this form, which you can view in the corresponding Google sheet.
This instrumental version of "The a la Menthe" by La Caution, a french hip hop duo, is nothing short of groovy. In 2015, the mapper pandemicxlr made us a map of the tune in the low 5-star range, with an original difficulty at AR 9.3 and an alternate version at AR 10, for those who roll that way. Currently sitting at over 240 favorites, you definitely won't want to skip out on this map—give it a go! With a length just over a minute, it's short and sweet.
This is hands-down one of the coolest and craziest final boss maps for stream control. This three-difficulty mapset of Laur's "Sound Chimera" holds two low 6-star difficulties, one being a guest collab by Anishina Kodoku and KoTo. The top difficulty, on the other hand, sits at a menacing 8+ stars and is more or less a meaner version of the lower two difficulties: longer streams, crazier patterns, and overall a great challenge for past masters. The song itself, a dark psytrance track, barely stretches out to exactly five minutes. With all that said, if the fact that 240+ favorites can't convey the attractiveness of this mapset, surely the map itself can!
Ah, what would Project Loved be without a meme map here and there? This round we have Cassu2's mapset of "Major League Can Can", a remix of the Can-Can littered with 2014 meme sample sounds on top of 2014 meme sample sounds. Conversely to how the song plays out to the ears, the mapset itself is perfectly playable and enjoyable. It features a full difficulty spread of six maps ranging from high 1-star to high 5-stars, with guest difficulties from - Physical - and Sharkie. If you're looking for a blast to the dank memes of the past, have a go at this mapset and maybe join the mass of 200+ users who have favorited the map.
Originally released in 1971, this amazing progressive rock song has lasted through the decades and found itself all the way over at the Project Loved voting stage! A mapset entirely by IwanWenChoong, the set contains a total of ten difficulties ranging out as a full spread, from a low of 1-star to a peak at high 7-stars. Half of the difficulties are a map of the full 8+ minute track, but for those of you interested in just the TV Size version found in the anime "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure", the other half of the difficulties are for you! That leaves five difficulties of the full version and five difficulties of the TV Size version, each distinguished with circle sizes of 5 and 4, respectively. With over 140 favorites, the song is just about as fun to listen to as the maps are to play, so give it a try the next time you're in the mood for this classic tune!
Nujabes, an iconic Japanese hip hop artist, has a song that found its way to the Loved voting stage: Mawkawa's mapset of "Lady Brown (feat. Cise Starr)". A full spread, this mapset has 7 difficulties ranging from low 2-stars to 7 on the dot. With the song being jumpy in nature, the map compliments the fact perfectly with its relaxing, flowy jump patterns. Currently at 260+ favorites, if a chill distraction from the world sounds good right about now, join the pack of favorites by giving the map a try for yourself!
Experimental in nature, this 7:30 length collaboration between 55 different mappers was an experiment hosted by Mao to test how various mappers would interpret the same song. With a fitting difficulty name of "Blind Collab", each mapper was given a sub-10 second section and only a few small hints as to how they should map it, such as the location of the last note before their section. Other than that, these mappers were on their own, and the final product is definitely a unique one! It makes for an interesting and eye-opening playthrough, completing its goal of portraying contrast between mapping styles. If nothing else, I definitely recommend checking this map out in the editor—the storyboard annotates each section to show who mapped the section, along with some basic details of each mapper. It's worth the time to play through the map if you're one who's interested in mapping style variance!
This arrangement of the Touhou track "Plain Asia" is quite the energetic one, sitting at 180 BPM. BarkingMadDog did a phenomenal job creating an Extra difficulty for the song, landing around 5.7 stars. The map represents tonal and intensity changes in both an accurate and engaging way, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a map that fills all those niche itches for a catchy song with an engaging, expressive map of jumps and streams at a comfortable and consistent BPM. If I just described exactly what you've been wanting, what are you waiting for? Check it out for yourself to see just what the 140+ favorites love so much about this map.
Is anyone looking for jumps? Lots of jumps? At high 7-stars? Don't worry, Taikuta has that covered with this map of Helblinde's song titled "C204". If 210 BPM is your sweet spot, and jumps are your forte, listen real close: you're gonna love this map—that is, if you don't already love it. The map already has over 100 favorites, so I'm sure it's a familiar sight to many of you reading this. If not, warm up your aim and give the map a try! It just might be your new favorite.
From the creator of the popular maps "oddloop" and "OWARASE NIGHT", a new reading-based Frederic map joins the fray, this time with even more of a collaborative twist! Hosted by n0ah, this collaboration between nine different players easily lives up to expectations set by the aforementioned maps. This map of "Hello Goodbye" features a fresh challenge for reading players from far and wide. The map once again sits at an approach rate of 5, but a slightly nerfed AR 8 version has been attached for the less apt. With that said, grab your reading goggles and get cracking at the puzzle of a map accompanying this beautiful song!
Yet another Imperial Circus Dead Decadence song has landed itself in the Loved voting stage! This time we have a common tune to some, "FUBUKI". Recognizable from Kantai Collection (and ranked mapsets on osu!), this ICDD rendition of the song was mapped twice by AtHeoN: once in 2016, and again in 2018. The former rests at low 7-stars, while the latter reaches into mid 7-star territory. Both follow the core mechanics of the song—rhythm structure, general priority, switches between 1/3 and 1/4 snapping, etc. However, the actual style of mapping is quite the evolution. Regarding the maps themselves, they both clock in at just over four minutes, filling the time with heavy jumps and streams at a solid 195 BPM. Whether you're looking to train a bit of high-star nomod consistency or simply looking for a fun map, be sure not to skip this one! The 140+ users who favorited this mapset surely wouldn't, and for quite a good reason! If you don't see what I'm talking about, check out the maps to see for yourself!
Resonating with Camellia's unique sound, Taka030's extraordinary technique of mapping consisting of great streams and SV usage will let the player feel like they're in heaven. This beatmap has multiple ways of expressing those wobbly bass sounds, like fast sliders, barlines and overlapping spinners, which feel amusing to play throughout the entire four minutes of the song. I think this is a good map targeted at two- or three-digit players, considering how difficult is to get a full combo.
For our second pick comes this surprisingly short DragonForce map by zigizigiefe, which has the streams we all expect of a great DragonForce map, resulting in a fun map even if it's just to warm up. The streams in this map are varied and challenging, while being not as straining (due to its 200 BPM, slightly lower than what most stream maps are nowadays), making it a perfect map to start practicing these up. Good job, zigi!
Returning from the cycle during the second week of february, Nightfall, a beatmap done by Ryui in collaboration with R i n g o, features a simple yet effective style that founds its place in some tournaments in the past. Have a look at the comment Backfire did for this map back in the day!
Everyone who has played, or watched, osu!taiko tournaments in the past years has come across this map at some point. Ryui and R i n g o's collaboration is probably one of the most known graved osu!taiko maps around, and that's not surprising: this hype song features great flow and patterns, tough finisher usage and is overall just an enjoyable experience.
As our last pick comes directly from speed hell, Architecture mapped by 1RoHa_ features 300 BPM of pure insanity, in the form a great map designed to bring a rich gameplay experience, with patterns that flow exquisitely and are really fun to play. We hope you're up for a challenge, as this map will for sure pack quite a punch. Don't let its high BPM and SR trick you though, as its design is quite intuitive and you will for sure be able to hit this after some intensive practice.
And here we have noraRcat entering the Loved vote for the first time, with their map Snow Prism. This is, quite frankly said, a very consistent and mainstream map. It consists mostly of fairly easily thought out left-rights, and a few streams followed up by a bunch of cross map left-rights every so often. The simplicity of this map however, is its key to being so much fun.
People have spent countless amounts of hours on this map, especially in its year of release, 2015. It is just very relaxing, accessible and satisfying in almost every regard. All in all, in my humble opinion, this is a map very much worthy of receiving Loved status after having been loved by the community for three years now.
Something quite different from our other pick this week would be Rocma's Skill Analyzer, this being the second Skill Analyzer of Rocma's to make it to the Loved voting rounds. Rocma is mostly known for making very complex and difficult-to-pass maps, but this one is quite different to say the very least.
Whereas the previous Skill Analyzer of his was mostly aimed towards the top end of the playerbase, this one is way more accessible to people that might not be super proficient at osu!catch. Thanks to this fact, the map also has a high replayability factor, as you won't tire out from playing the map all too quick. Pretty nice innit? Go check it out and see how your skill stacks up!
Quick Draw receives his third Project Loved nomination with the well-known VEC†LEGGENDARIA. This map is unbelievably fast, especially considering the jumpstream-heavy patterning of the harder difficulties, coming in at 269.4 BPM. In fact, that's what makes this map unique—it's not often that we see a jumpstream map this popular with a BPM this high. Given its competitive viability and uncommon speed, this nomination is a first for Loved, and makes a good candidate for having a leaderboard.
Next up, we have another brutally difficult long note map coming from the one and only _underjoy, this time being his chart for Unlimited Spark! This marathon starts off slow and simple, luring players into a false sense of security, but slowly reveals its true intentions through progressively more difficult long note patterns, before turning up the intensity with a full inverse section shortly after the halfway mark. This inverse marks the expectations for the rest of the chart, with only one small break being given for the second half before unloading yet again in the final chorus with disjointed and difficult to read releases, ultimately serving as a rather rewarding LN challenge, something many players have come to enjoy about the chart, netting this chart a fitting spot in the Loved nominations.
Next up is one of Pope Gadget's classics, Black Out The Alternative by KotoriP! Being around for over three years, this map has undergone many changes which ended up in leaving only a single difficulty.
Juxta-Galactica takes the player on a bumpy journey through 4K, as it contains virtually all kinds of patterning. Despite not even being above 5 stars, this chart is deceptively hard. This map can be divided into two types of sections—intense and break. While the former are littered with various SV traps and tough jack sections as well as a relentless stream middle part, the latter contain more LN and SV slowdowns and speedups. The whole chart is neatly executed, and, as a great technical challenge, we would like to introduce it to Loved section!
Coming in with our final 4K pick and the third marathon of the Loved set, we have Chrubble and his chart for Cosmos / The R Machine. This monster of a chart sets up a couple of expectations right out of the gate: a lot of jack-tech patterning and a great stamina requirement through its consistency and length. Because of this, as well as its high quality, it became a point of interest among tech enthusiasts, and has been quite well-received by others as well, setting up the chart very nicely to be included as a Loved nomination.
It's been quite some time since Cuppp has had a chart nominated for Project Loved (six months!), and it only seems fitting to up the ante by nominating one of his more challenging ones: Ordinary World. At 9.79*, this chart gets the vast majority of its difficulty from the copious amounts of LNs associated with it (which should be unsurprising given that it's a Cuppp chart). What's more noteworthy though is the increase in density as the song progresses. The first two-thirds play as if the previously mentioned 9.79* rating is entirely inflated, but that assumption is easily reversed when playing through the end of the song. As such, the leaderboard for this chart will represent a wide variety of strong LN players and is worth giving a shot if you think you can handle the density!
Kim_GodSSI's LN charting style can usually be recognized at the first glance. This is the case with Routine by Silent Siren, which also has a 4K Guest Difficulty made by Reba.
There are two 7K difficulties. Both of these require high amounts of finger independency and muscle memory, as they are focused on controlled LN chordsmashing with occasional doublestair sections. The second half of the chart is noticeably harder than the first one, with more short LNs to mess up your reading even further. The Insane difficulty is dense enough to be a serious challenge even to seasoned long note jammers. As this chart is fun and popular, we are sure it will be well-received in the Loved voting!
The next chart on the list is goes by the name of Road of Resistance by Akary (and company). This collab features six different mappers, which are Julie, DarkSider2442, dosyeru, Kivicat, [Shi-Ra] and Akary themselves. Coming up at 205 BPM, it starts with a kind of calm long note section, that keeps building up until it reaches the 1-minute mark, where everything starts to go wild. Fast chordstreams, followed by staircases and some irregular patterning does make it hard to play and read. It might get slower after the end of the first section, which lasts for 30 seconds approximately, but do not be fooled by this. The more you advance throughout the map, the more complex the patterns will be. Mixing different snaps, a few minijacks every here and there and some nasty bursts will show up during these five minutes.
This chart does have a good balance between long and normal notes, which does not make it extremely hard for those players who do not feel too comfortable with long notes. Definitely something worth enough for loved.
It's Spooktober time as we all know, and what better way to get into the festive spirit than a funky chart of SHK's Halloween Party!
This mapset by a Russian duo of DarkSider2442 and Kivicat with a guest difficulty by arviejhay is a very interesting mid-tier difficulty set, with difficulties ranging from basic Easy to a fairly mixed and technical Extra. The top difficulty consists of tough dense streams, jacks and bursts, as well as occasional tricky LNs, making it a pretty difficult challenge to test your skills for a wide range of players. Featured in the quarter-finals stage of the osu!mania 7K World Cup 2016, the set has held its popularity since then, and what better time than now to let it have its spot in the Loved voting!?
From everyone on the Project Loved team, we hope you enjoy this week's selection, and look forward to the next! The winning beatmaps will hit the Loved beatmap listing sometime next week and will be announced via @osugame on Twitter.
—the Project Loved team