The heat might've come and gone, but the brand new Seasonal Spotlights are bringing the best of Summer 2018 back in beatmap form! Check it out!
The beatmap charts for the Summer Spotlights can be found here. Their respective packs are available at the Beatmap Pack Listing for easier access. The Summer 2018 Spotlights rankings will end on the 15th of December, 2018.
You may have noticed that the regular Monthly Beatmap Spotlights slowed down a bit and then outright stopped a few months ago. After some internal discussion, we've decided to revamp the project to follow a seasonal release schedule going forward - and thus the Seasonal Spotlights are born!
The astute among us will note that it is indeed November, and not September at the moment - the delay in releasing the Summer Spotlights is a one-time affair and the others will all be proceeding following the schedule listed above.
The Spotlights team is also looking for new members! If you've ever been interested in helping pick out the best of the best beatmaps from a given seasonal cycle and think you've got what it takes to contribute, we want to hear from you! Check out the application here!
If you just want to observe the process and get a feel for things, we've decided to make our Discord server public and you are free to join if you like. With that said, discussion about the future and other important stuff will still happen on the dedicated #osu-spotlights channel over at the osu! development Discord.
We're also looking to freshen up the Spotlights gameplay experience to make it a little more competitive. The top three players who manage to conquer the Seasonal Spotlights leaderboards can look forward to receiving 3, 2, and 1 months of supporter for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively.
We are also pushing to increase the visibility of the Spotlights on the website and in-game, though more on that front will happen later on in 2019.
For now, let's get stuck right into this year's blazing summer beatmap hits!
This time, ScubDomino brings us sakuraburst's remix of "last minute" by sanj. The mapper managed to combine both free form and grid based mapping by switching to the latter once the song hits the climax. Don't get fooled though as this is not your ordinary grid - as the song goes progressively more intense, the map follows with some unexpected twists, making it a unique experience you should not miss out on!
Here's a map of Chinese Man's "I Got That Tune (Tha Trickaz Remix)", brought to you by toybot. Switching between different music styles and speeds, toybot works perfectly with their clean, organized mapping style, sporting a variety of beautiful tricks incorporating both slider shapes and slider velocities to make this map something quite outstanding.
Mismagius did a great job with their map of Steven Wilson's "The Raven That Refused to Sing". With a track that's full of emotions, its details are perfectly represented through different spacings and slider shapes. The smooth hitsounding compliments the song superbly, providing contrast between the calm and intense sections. You should definitely try this map out!
Despite being a relatively new mapper, den0saur provides us an absolutely masterful and engaging gameplay experience with their rendition of Hanatan's "You and beautiful world". It introduces emphasis through wide angles and really few occurrences of filler rhythm, making every possible sound the map has to offer very powerful. I enjoyed it a lot and I think you will too!
Coming straight from the Mapper's Guild with a Featured Artist song, Mao, Gero, Mirash and Noffy proved us that beatmapping is truly a piece of art. With a mixture of streams and slider velocity changes, accompanied by one of the most stunning storyboards seen this season, this set is definitely worth checking out.
Lightly edited from the original version made five years ago, Hollow Wings brings us a pleasant set that has aged very well with Ishida Yoko's "Negai". Built on a low-bpm swing beat, this map mixes slow and simple sections with faster, energetic choruses that will have your cursor dancing across the screen to their lovely melody.
eiri-'s strikingly original set of Liz Triangle's "Messiah" has 3 unique difficulties that all express the song quite beautifully. Jounzan's top diff has great intensity and spacing contrast, along with a unique use of flow. Mirash and Delis' collab gives us a nicely improvised approach to emphasis, providing a fun gameplay experience.
Last but not least, Vass' Desire by Vass_Bass displays a very natural movement around the playfield, which is more easily playable, yet displays a high attention to detail. With a nice range of mapping styles, it's easy to say something in this set for everybody!
When considering versatility in mapping skills, Lasse is pretty much a shining example of it. Their rendition of Meramipop's "Unknown x known" remixed by DYES IWASAKI definitely showcases it too, with its great cursor control and aesthetics. Using heavy slider velocity manipulation to control cursor momentum, it matches the ups and downs of the song perfectly. This map is sure to not disappoint you, and is definitely a welcome one to this season's Spotlights!
UndeadCapulet has always been known in the mapping community for having a rather divergent mapping style from the current aesthetic norm by exclusively focusing on movement concepts. Their rendition of FELT's "Day and Night" seems to match that perspective just as well, being one of the more well expressed maps this season.
Despite the map starting out slow and rather unsatisfying to play, it all takes a sharp turn later when reaching the choruses. All in all, it's definitely worth giving this map a try to the end!
happy30's rendition of "min" by Chata perfectly captures the flow of the song. Contrasting jumps and antijumps on varied rhythms make this map a blast to play. Adding on to that, Net0 and bossandy did a great job supporting the Lunatic with their spread, as each difficulty strikes the perfect balance between referencing the highest difficulty and introducing new ideas. Don't miss out on this gem!
Zetera's map of Dream Theater's "Moment of Betrayal" strikes the perfect balance between rhythmic complexity and intuitive gameplay. The progressive metal song provides plenty of rhythmic variety while keeping a high intensity level during most of its six minutes, making this map very engaging to play throughout. The impactful hitsounding only helps with that. Make sure to check this map out!
With an upbeat tempo and groovy beat, tutuhaha brings us an energetic piece with their map of Kurahashi Yoeko's "Tomodachi no Uta". Featuring lots of unique and varied slidershapes and satisfying snappy jumps, the final product is a map tailor-made for jamming out to this song of friendship.
Last but not least, bor provides us with a stunning mapset of Draw The Emotional's "Sad Spring". The highest difficulty puts a huge focus on motion, with every object having just the right impact. The extravagant streamshapes feel very satisfying to play. All that accompanied by an ambitious and consistent spread with the help of Lasse and Aeril, this is a mapset everyone should try!
We hope you like chiptune tracks, because one of these is taking the gold medal on this summer's Spotlights!.
With a total of seven difficulties, this fast-paced mapset by Midnaait forms an exemplary spread from the easiest to the hardest difficulty, featuring well constructed structure, rhythm choice and rest moment density. It also features two guest difficulties from yassu- and hikiko- for those who want extra variety in their playthrough!
Not to mention the highest difficulty, Bit Crusher, holds impressively well built streams, which may seem simple at first glance, but the high BPM and the stamina required for you to hit them will certainly make you think twice before underestimating them. This difficulty also manages to achieve a fairly high strain level without needing to use other snaps, such as 1/6!
All in all, this spread has a deserved first place in the Summer's Spotlights!
Ohayou! Want to play some oriental music on a drum that originated from the same region? incandescences map titled a morning greeting in Japanese will probably fulfill your need. Featuring a load of five difficulties ranging from Kantan to Inner Oni, the set is carefully arranged to represent the catchy rhythm with relatively balanced spread progression, which could cater to different players' capability.
Apart from the good consistency of patterns every difficulty keeps, the Inner Oni utilizes a variety of 1/4 combinations that accompany the music accurately alongside a set of simple yet intuitive Slider Velocity transitions, making the map impressive to play.
Behold, the current top Star Rating map in our Ranked Section! t+pazolite's "Ultrasonic Anthem" remixed by Kobaryo will surely tire out your hand and drive you crazy!
This time around, tasuke912 along with his collaborators eiri-, komasy, maziari1105, Midnaait and thzz brought us this mapset consisting of meticulously crafted difficulties to ensure nobody gets lost along the way, so everybody can have something to play!
If the amount of low difficulties doesn't catch your eye, the top diffs will for sure, as they are extremely well done speed maps with proper flow to show us how it's done. You can bet these are a whole lot of fun and a worthy challenge as well!
Definitely not a stranger to the community and being known for great Slider Velocity usage in maps, Nofool proves their proficiency yet again. This rendition of Cranky's "Into the Unknown" features a lot of SV changes across the whole set done in an excellent manner to highlight each part of the song perfectly.
Looking visually pleasing as well, it's one of the few sets out there to introduce beginners to the scroll speed changes in maps, and not only that, it also utilizes hard patterns all throughout, making it a challenge on each difficulty while being a great match to the song.
With all of this, the set finds a very well deserved place in the Spotlights!
Get ready to be presented with a key... a key... of timepieces!
No newcomer to the spotlights, this map by Nifty features his signature Slider Velocity usage that will challenge even the best of players and well-executed rhythmic complexity, all backed by an amazing song!
The experience of playing this map is never a dull one, as with each repetition of a previously heard rhythm also comes with it Slider Velocity that'll keep each encounter fresh and enjoyable. On top of being visually impressive, this map attains remarkable flow throughout the vast majority of the map, keeping our hands happy along with our eyes.
The calmer parts of this map also have a notable contrast to the rest of the map in both density and visuality, setting these sections of the map apart from the rest. This idea keeps each section of the map accurately paced to the intensity of the song, while also keeping the player focused and interested.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to use this key to unlock some timepieces... whatever those may be. ;)
Having mapped a whole bunch of songs by Rainbowdragoneyes, Mew104 finally pushed one of their renditions to rank. Each difficulty of the set features accurate and appropiate patterns throughout, being quite demanding, but still fair, and the Guest Difficulty by Ak1o brings more even more variety to an already well-made varying set.
What's most impressive about the set though is the Ura Oni. This difficulty takes everything the song has to offer and tastefully uses patterns in a way that makes the whole map fairly complex, but fitting to the song's nature with a nice mix of rather common, but also uncommon 1/4 + 1/6 snaps, as well as 1/6 leading into 1/3 snaps.
Incredibly fun set and if you are looking for a challenge of the different kind, this map is definitely worth a shot!
These Summer Spotlights are just bursting with Hidden TWC maps! tasuke912's guest difficulties to Showdown, which got featured in the 7th Taiko World Cup, are one of them.
The Inner Oni features sparse 1/8-snap doublets, which were rare at the time of its making. Mix this with a variety of longer and shorter 1/4- or 1/6-snap patterns, and you got an awesome map to an awesome song! Additionally, the lower difficulties are very hard for their tier, which is not a bad thing - hard, but not unfair, Muzukashiis are always nice to have for people struggling to make the gap to Onis.
In 2018 Summer, Fisherman EdamaMe411 together with tasuke912 did a great job introducing a deep sea creature in the Taiko Ocean. With the whopping 285bpm, the stamina required to escape from this fierce Icicle Stinger may be rather demanding!
The three lower difficulties follow a simpler design so that beginners would not be scared away by the beast and could still play properly without big problem. Starting from Oni, there are already 1/4 triplets which are knotty to go through due to the rapid pace. In Inner Oni and tasuke's signature TAIKO-HOLIC, intense yet fitting 1/4 bursts are arranged in succession to provide a great challenge to players and even veterans.
Being famous for his several Yunomi maps, this time komasy is here to bring us "Hachimitsu Adventure"!
The top difficulty has shown how different aspects of mapping are well-integrated with the music itself. The hitsounding not only compliments well with the background drums, but also synergizes with varied, yet consistent note arrangements that effectively represent different song sections. All of these are further enhanced by the appropriate use of Slider Velocity changes which makes this mapset stand out from other 2-minute mapsets in the ranked section.
Having around 40 map submissions beforehand, it is clear that HiroK has earned sufficient experience and aimed high for his very first ranked mapset, Sulfide.
This marathon mapset succeeds at expressing the varying intensity of musical sections. Significant differences in terms of note density, Slider Velocities and pattern uses can be seen between calm, buildup sections and intense, drum-heavy kiais. Such contrast not only accurately portrays the music, but also highlights the importance of kiai sections which the mapper also handles well.
Inventing! Improving! Creating!
Nardoxyribonucleic and sing216 bursts into the Summer Spotlights with their map of "Universal Death Squad" by EPICA. With an impressive catalogue of 48 ranked maps, Nardo is most known for making extremely solid anime maps, but every once in a while he puts his signature vocal mapping style on an operatic metal banger.
Most metal marathons these days are too difficult for your casual taiko player, but with Universal Death Squad capping at 5.42 stars, it has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it's the expertly crafted streams during the solos, the impeccable vocal mapping during the verses, or the back and forward between the song's high-pitched opera singers and the angry growling voice, this map will be sure to never disappoint!
After well over a year, Nwolf makes his way back to the spotlights with another onoken map, this time a mapset of Viden, which was also featured in this year's TWC as a Hidden pick in Round of 16. Each difficulty of the set leans towards the challenging side, being quite dense in the lower difficulties with a few unusual pattern choices while following the song nicely, making for a very intuitive and natural experience.
The Inner Oni however puts the icing on the cake: interesting use of SV changes and uncommon patterns introduced early on in the map, leading to Kiais going ham. Packed with a lot of odd patterns and a few variable snaps, this difficulty tests your off-hand streaming skill; and be warned, each difficulty gets even harder at the end of the song!
Coming through with their first ranked map right into the Spotlights, Ak1o brings us a fun mapset with BassTest! This short low BPM map features rather technical patterns on the TEST difficulty, including 1/6 and even 1/8 mixed into 1/4 streams, flowing quite well and being really satisfying to play.
If you aren't ready for the patterns in TEST yet, the lower difficulties will certainly keep you entertained too, with an Oni difficulty that features 1/6 snaps, and a generally well-formed spread challenging players with complicated snaps for each respective difficulty.
Super solid mapset overall and a worthy addition to the Spotlights!
Definitely my personal favourite map of the summer, honestly what a banger. odaxelagnia's "#sawg" remixed by Wan Bushi features relatively fast paced breakcore, which Ulqui did a great job representing through this map. With beautifully made tricky 1/6 patterns and carefully placed Slider Velocity progressions, they combine to make this map an amazing piece of artwork that is really fun to play!
No strangers to the Spotlights, Spectator and Kyuare have brought us their rendition of a_hisa's "Tokei no Heya to Seishin Sekai". This long mapset at 4:13 goes by in a flash. While there are no over-the-top flashy patterns in the set, it may be one of its strongest points. The strong fundamentals of these experienced mappers is prevalent throughout the map, creating what is essentially a page turner until you've reached either the break or the final spinner.
In addition to the overdose, the Collab Rain featuring Fii may be less difficult, but is just as engaging to play. Featuring more controlled flow and aesthetic patterns, this set is not something to miss out on.
Coming from the Fruit Factory, Ascendance continues to impress us with yet another well made map, Function Phantom's "Euclid". Along with guest difficulties from Spectator, Sinnoh, ZiRoX and alienflybot, you'll be met with a tricky technical map including an impressive mix of harsh antiflow, strong hyperdashes, standstill buzz sliders. Make sure to try this map yourself, you won't be disappointed!
Following Spectator's steps from the January 2018 Spotlights, Hareimu's own rendition of "Marigold" manages to get a spot in the Summer 2018 Spotlights. The map, from its Cup difficulty to an already signature gimmicky Overdose by Deif, marvelously portray the song's different parts.
From calmer sections boasting Guriri's sweet voice to a hectic combination of piano, violin and drums, this beatmap is sure to be a fun ride.
Straight from 2017's osu!catch World Cup comes "Above the Clouds" by P i k u, a mapper that is not frequent in the Ranked section but still provides quality content. With one of Helblinde's calmer songs, P i k u, accompanied by MBomb, has once again delivered a really clean and polished mapset befitting the magnificence of the song.
Finally, DragonForce has been brought to fruit-lovers! Crowley made a successful first appearance in ranked section with his map DragonForce's "Seasons". Managing the organization of neat patterns through the entire map, Crowley explained how excellent one can be even if new in this field.
Moreover, it's especially notable that varied stream patterns are designed, perfectly matching this heavy-metal song with intensive drum beats flowing everywhere. Pretty sure this is a fantastic map you won't want to miss this summer!
Bringing us another fantastic map in the style we all know and love, Camellia's "Ultimate Ascension" mapped by Deif rounds out the summer spotlights in an epic fashion. Featuring high snapped streams along with input-precise movements in the top difficulty, "Phantom", those who are a fan of Deif's technical mapping will have a blast playing this map. A bit too hard? Tenshichan's Overdose will still provide a fresh experience in comparison at a similar difficulty!
And of course, for everyone else, the Cup through Rain difficulties definitely provide a challenge well above the curve of a normal mapset, giving something for everyone to play and enjoy!
Dreamwalker, well known as master of Slider Velocity oriented mapping, greatly debuts with his extremely dynamic 4k mapset: Kontinuum's "Lost (feat. Savoi) [Sunroof Remix]". The extra difficulty demonstrates very creative yet balanced Slider Velocity usage, fitting well with pretty uneasy patterning; Combining long notes with 1/8 rolls, the chart takes the player out of their comfort zone, but still keeps it very fun to play. Eventually extreme 1/8 rolls intersect with heavy stutter effects, giving the gameplay a splash of drive.
This paired with the Insane with great usage of heavy chording, including pushing scroll speed effects by Fontes and the excellently balanced Advanced difficulty with well-arranged and smart choices of patterns by Lastopia, the mapset came out very well structured and gives joy for players of any level. The map was highly appreciated by community and definitely deserves to be on the top of the Beatmap Spotlights!
Insp1r3's first ranked mapset, "Mazare Party" by MAZARE presents a unique spread of 4K and 6K, with each keymode being a noticeably different as well as being fun to play. With Chilly, Cokiiplay and lastly Asherz007 contributing, the 4K spread explores an intense handstream challenge where players are forced to maintain their stamina and technique throughout.
As the difficulty progresses, Kawawa and Critical_Star express and interpret the mixture of piano rolls and flow of the rhythm using complex long notes with fast delay patterns. 7K players will once again fall in love with this challenging track and will make them seek for much more from them!
Fresh Chicken, as known as the SDVX holic comes out with another sound voltex mapset, Getty vs. DJ DiA's "DropZ-Line-"! His talent in the mapping scene shines when he's set with pumpcore.
Although the pattern is difficult on its own, with the addition of strong Slider Velocity changes it creates a harmony with the music -- something to be considered as a fun challenge to the players. The Slider Velocity values in some of the parts are not calculated to the average scroll speed intentionally, which shows how his interpretation of the music and expressed it through his mapping style.
Enjoy the heavy bass, let's bring it on the pumpcore!
Hydria brings the ranked section with this easy but delicate mapset, M2U's "A Bella! (feat. Lucy)". As a technical mapper, this time he features delicate Long Note structures in vocal mapping and makes a great use of this song.
The ideal spread on one hand makes the set reachable for beginners, while the complexity of Long Note design in the top diff gives some accuracy challenges to even the top players. If you are good at dealing with the Long Notes, take the challenge and enjoy this mapset!
MysticEyes' first ranked map, aran's "Xperanza" demonstrates usage of Long Notes in a particularly balanced style between comfort and musical representation.
The track allows for a great variation of styles, and MysticEyes does not disappoint! This fun-filled LN hybrid is an accuracy challenge to many top players, and with a great song choice, many will also be jamming to the beat while playing the map.
Garalulu continues to bring unique maps to the ranked section with his map, "GO! GO! MANIAC!" by HO-KAGO TEA TIME. This song has a chaotic nature, bringing different time signatures on instruments (mainly between 1/3 and 1/2) at 250 BPM, which Garalulu took full advantage of.
The highest difficulty showcases a lot of well-thought patterns to further complicate the already complicated rhythm, such as short Long Note chords and cobweb patterns. And the mapper emphasized each instruments and every strong vocal syllables in a way that makes the patterns coherent, rather than making each of them distinctive. Knowing the BPM, accomplishing all those while still keeping the map fun and challenging is impressive.
The lower difficulties are also a lot more complex than other maps in the Star Rating range, making the difficulty progression in a more linear state. Don't forget to play them too!
Don't be fooled by the star rating! After Cycle Hit, Wadu contributes the ranked section this mapset, gmnt.'s "trappola bewitching", of which the top difficulty's real level is much higher than the star ratings indicates.
Characterized by the fierce Slider Velocity changes and varied patterns with barely no rest at a high BPM of 190, this map challenges the players' readability of Slider Velocities as well as their stamina. Mage's guest difficulties are also the highlights of this mapset. At the same time when keeping a good spread, he still tried to utilize some great concepts to pose some challenges on advancing players.
All in all, this mapset would be among good choices of practicing stamina and challenging yourself!
FAMoss presents a very unique approach to ZUN's "Lunar Clock ~ Luna Dial" with this mapset. The first track from one of the Touhou games to have been ranked in mania 4K, the musical style has allowed for fun minijacks throughout the map, and mappers can learn from the spectacular usage of the positioning of the notes that represents the music very well.
Another one of error_exe777's Slider Velocity masterpieces, "Tetsuo's Redemption" by KOAN Sound & Asa is an enjoyable, chill-inducing marathon map with unpredictable, erratic speed changes that require the player to have a complete understanding of the music.
Its use of varying concepts, particularly the repetition of specific patterns, is something that many mappers should keep in mind when making maps with Slider Velocity changes.
_underjoy strikes again with his new extreme 7k chart and keeps the ranked section alive for top-tier players again. This marathon contains many different skillset, all at extremely high levels, including stamina, heavy chordstreaming and jack speed. As seen by the scoreboard, even top-tier players have to put high effort to play this map well.
The map includes not only challenge element, but also consistency and good pattern choices that represent the music at the proper level. This map can fairly be named as one of the hardest ranked marathons.
We have decided to make the spreadsheet available for everyone who is interested to take a look at how we selected these mapsets. Check it out here!
We hope you enjoy our selection for this season and look forward to what we will bring to you in the future.
Until then, happy circle clicking, drum bashing, fruit catching, and key smashing! Do not forget to have a rest occasionally!
—the Spotlights Team