By George Wood
Die hard FPS sharpshooters tend to get all mushy-gushy sentimental about the zones in which they’ve spent countless hours spilling the blood of hundreds of friends and internet strangers. Memories of crouching hidden in the best sniper holdouts, navigating secret tunnels, heart pounding, with the hope you have a quicker trigger finger than whomever is around that next corner. All the best routes have been trod well into the ground, every feature exploited for defensive cover and everyone knows where to go if you are looking to jump into the killing grinder. Multiplayer maps are an integral part of the FPS experience, so to show our appreciation below we decided stroll down the halls of nostalgia to rank our favorites thus far.
10. Wake Island – Battlefield series
Wake Island, in another universe, may have ended up a beautiful resort atoll with picturesque beachside views, a mojito and blended pina colada bar on the shore and swarms of retirees slathering on suntan lotion to prevent late-age melanoma. Good thing we live in far more excitable times, taking the site of a contentious World War 2 skirmish in the Pacific and immortalizing it as a killing zone for future generations throughout the majority of the Battlefield series.
The surf here is wonderful, but the shooting is far better. This Battlefield online multiplayer map has always been a paradise of destruction by land, sea and air. Dogfights overhead offer the ever-present danger of plane parts squishing your gunner overland, or if the plane parts miss you fear not because the hell-fiend Humvees wheeling across the map will gladly make a hood ornament out of you. Try to hug the shoreline with a nice stroll in the sand, dodging the inland action, patrolling gunner boats will certainly shred you into pieces for later consumption by gunpowder-fed sea crabs. Far cheaper than a vacation to Cancun, we’ll take the sun and blood-soaked action offered by Wake Island any day of the week.
9. Facility – Goldeneye
Within the classic Goldeneye campaign, the Facility level is a fortress characterized by enemies hiding in bathroom stalls, destruction of a bottling facility (booze? Coca Cola?) and a depressing lack of casinos and women for 007 to schmooze on.
Luckily, the multiplayer map ramps up the adrenaline factor considerably. Claustrophobic hallways, barriers and beams to cover behind, victory hinges on how jumpy your trigger finger is. Of course you can find ammunition in the bathroom stalls, bonus points if you can achieve sneaky surprise kills by kicking open the stall door and dropping your opponent like a bad bowel movement. Success is significantly guaranteed on your ability to locate the RC P90 Machine gun because the firing rate is absolutely a game changer.
8. 2Fort – Team Fortress 2
Featuring: The Bridge of DEATH. Even with rooftop coverage over the bridge constructed in Team Fortress 2, there is still a mighty high chance of impending execution should you try to weather the storm of bullets, rockets and flame that will surely rain down from the heavens if you try and cross to safety on the other side.
This memorable maze of a map is a shoo-in for best Capture the Flag arena in the TF series. Reinforced as we move down the list will be the simplistic strength of an uncomplicated map with little frills and full-blown awareness of what players need. What do they need? Turns out it’s always two bases, one to serve as home and the other to serve as “the other.” Like two frat houses attempting to steal the other’s composites, anything goes: Invisible Spies with shanks, Engineers building vicious sentry guns, and all other classes are bent on administering death to the other team, preventing the theft of precious flags or intelligence.
7. Strike at Karkand – Battlefield Series
Stress-fractured, dusty streets are dangerous, made especially so by eagle-eyed snipers perched on the balconies just waiting for unsuspecting foot soldiers to wander unawares into their sights. While Wake Island is an orgy of vehicular manslaughter from all sides, victorious strategy within the Strike of Karkand includes hugging buildings to stay out of sight and watching out for hooligans charging up the cracked streets with belt-fed lead cannons firing full-tilt. The original Strike at Karkand was a solid map, but what really drove this map to number seven in our list is the introduction of massively destructible environments within later games in the Battlefield series.
In later iterations, you can barely recognize the map after relentless pulverization performed by free-wheeling chain-gunners, rocket-slingers and expert demolition teams who just want to watch the world burn as they push the game’s physics engine to max capacity. Join in the joyful destruction at your own risk.
6. Crash – Call of Duty series
A lighting-paced small-sized arena of death prevalent throughout much of the Call of Duty series, Crash is one of those maps that multiplayer map designers nailed correctly the first time. As new CoD titles were released, besides updated graphics Crash has always been a playground of death featuring low-light building interiors, alleyway lines perfect for sniper fire and the area centerpiece, the burning still fresh remains of a burning helicopter crash.
Due to overhead coverage blocking out multiple killstreak rewards like missile strikes or air gunner support, this map has always been friendly to campers who want to hole up like a high-strung battle rats and pick off the competition from afar. Perceptive players pick up the rooftop crows nest and window lurkers quickly, while the rest will huddle in the shadows and pray they last longer than a few seconds after respawn. Crash has been and will remain a series favorite as long as people are still willing to kill each other virtually by any means necessary.
5. The Longest Yard – Quake 3 Arena
As a child, I loved the heart pounding, youth-defining activity of ricocheting around in bouncy castles. In real life, you are offered few opportunities to erupt off the walls like a rubber springboard or drop an aggressive, meteoric heel on your friend’s head from above, making them cry and probably tattle on you. The Longest Yard takes all the fun of this halcyon pastime, with the addition of an over-the-top weapon assortment that causes bodies to burst like juicy watermelon fireworks, staining the hard cement ground. The only strategy in navigating this multi-tiered map is to use the teleporters and bounce pads to spring skyward and rain torrential gunfire from above. The hyperactivity of action on this map easily makes it the most intense thrill rides on the list, guaranteeing a rush of adrenaline to the system each and every time.
4. Lockout – Halo 2
This frosty, isolated winter station suspended over a fog of certain death offers intense close-quarters combat combined with lanes to snipe foes and blast them with rocket powered projectiles. Versatility in strategy is the key here, as well as learning the locations and respawn times for the game-breaking weapons to end online lives with. Reinforced, angular walkways encourage gamers to incorporate trigonometry into their frag grenade throwing strategy, because there is nothing better than scoring a kill off a well-timed bounce blast.
Additionally, the fighters pit in the middle is a constant point of contention, even if the game mode isn’t king of the hill. Hold it for as long as you can but guaranteed it won’t be for long. Of course, the alternative option of scurrying about the undercroft of this map always leads to heady aggressive exchanges between players. Lockout will always remain enshrined in my memory as one of the most chaotic multiplayer maps in the Halo series.
3. Facing Worlds – Unreal Tournament series
Facing Worlds takes the tried and true formula of two bases with a hazardous middle ground and launches it past the atmosphere into space on a monolithic orbital arena. I’ve never felt so small and vulnerable running into battle between a titanic, screen engulfing view of Earth and the Moon, but those swept up in the background are surefire sniper fodder.
The best view in the house is offered to those defending their respective tower, way up high amongst the stars picking off the offense below. However, each sniper’s nest is quite exposed to the other team’s tower so even defense must keep their wits about them. On the base level, prospective flag stealers engage in a constant uphill tug of war, hoping their surrounding comrades and sniper support can mow down enough of the enemy to break on through and capture the goods successfully. This map is a well-executed, finely tuned example of the two base formula done masterfully.
2. De_Dust2 – Counterstrike series
Following the aggressive otherworldly action taking place on Facing Worlds, De_Dust2 is a far more cerebral game, though don’t confuse that with slow paced because the sluggish get executed without mercy. Whereas quite a few recipients on this list fall under the classic two base map variety, Dust2 is creative and inspired, a dusty town that could be straight out of a Spaghetti Western shot in the Middle East.
This map has been a consistent component throughout the Counterstrike series, starting out as an Aladdin-esque bazaar level to the current interpretation, a juxtaposition between war-torn walls and buildings below beautiful high-towers and tile walls. Cover has always been limited, requiring players to get creative with their shot positions.
Counter Terrorists have the strategic advantage in initially guarding the bomb sites, but the thrill of being a Terrorist, successfully busting through the wall of gunfire and crushing the competition is damn near invincible. Map awareness is absolutely key here to victory, but you’ll enjoy the ride to getting familiarized immensely.
1. Blood Gulch – Halo series
This iconic battle canyon has remained a fixture throughout the entire Halo series, because the premise is simple and therefore timeless: Two forts in an enclosed area, some vehicles, some anti-vehicle armaments, go kill the other team. Optimally compatible with capture the flag, feeling the high-octane rush of powering across the map, dodging tanks, Ghosts and gunfire to drop off a teammate, swing ‘round the base to pick up them again and bring the goods home via charging Warthog.
I chose Blood Gulch as number one because of the unmatched fun and versatility of this map. Capture the flag is obviously the perfect fit to this map design, but regular Team Slayer is just as fun. The length of matches here progresses almost episodically, an initial offensive push, banding together to put a deadly tank out of commission or dealing with map edge huggers or spontaneous teleporting enemies. Hours fly by experimenting with how best to claim the victory here, which leads to no two games being the same. My heart bleeds for Blood Gulch now and forever.
The best part about comparing things near and dear to gamer’s hearts is that you can almost guarantee an incendiary reaction from those who vehemently disagree with the order or feel slighted about their favorite maps not making the cut! Well my friend, this one of the perks of my profession, boiling the blood of the greater gaming community. If you find me online, go ahead and let me know how you feel. I promise to take every opinion to heart and ugly cry all night upon realizing my foolishness in ordering things incorrectly. Until then, keep your clips loaded and your sights adjusted. See you on the battlefield.
Top 10 Escape From Tarkov Streamers and Their Gear
By Emily Barnes
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Becoming an established Twitch streamer is one of the most common ambitions for people around the world, and the market is as saturated as ever. In order to keep up with the competition streamers are constantly searching for new games to play and updating their setups to improve the quality of their streams. The majority of the most viewed games on Twitch rarely change, but more recently a certain game has made a regular appearance.
Developed by Russian studio Battlestate Games, Escape from Tarkov has recently soared to the very top of the Twitch browse page, and well-known streamers are taking advantage of the game’s rise in popularity. Escape from Tarkov provides players with a huge multiplayer first-person universe with RPG and MMO elements while prioritizing realism and an intriguing story-driven gameplay.
In late 2019 the Escape from Tarkov Twitch Drops Campaign was introduced allowing ample opportunity for players to receive in-game loot for simply watching streamers play the game. First you connect your twitch profile with your in game profile, watch streamers with broadcasts marked “drops are enabled”, and after a certain amount of time spent watching you are guaranteed at least one in-game item. Escape from Tarkov was also on sale during this time, increasing the normal amount of viewers on Twitch to over 200,000, showing the massive impact this marketing strategy and promotion had on the popularity of the game. Many streamers have taken advantage of this spike in viewership by streaming the game, and one of the most important parts of streaming is using the best gear to maximize your quality. Below is a list of the top ten Escape from Tarkov streamers and their gear:
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Smoke is a popular streamer boasting over 100,000 followers and averaging thousands of viewers for every broadcast. Already being primarily focused on playing first person shooters and survival games, Smoke choosing to play a title like Escape from Tarkov is not surprising at all.
Having a monitor with a crystal clear image of your games can significantly improve your game sense and skill, and Smoke is no stranger to this fact using an ASUS ROG PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor. A 27-inch screen provides Smoke with a large enough screen to increase game awareness completed with ASUS Ultra Low Blue Light filters that protect his eyes during those eight hour streams.
The mouse Smoke uses for gaming is the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse with Esports grade performance. This mouse is created to be used by esports professionals with a 16,000 DPI and an extremely lightweight design. Although more towards the pricier side of gaming mice, for a successful streamer it’s a small investment towards the bigger picture.
Sequisha is very popular with over ten million twitch channel views and a substantial following. Known for his great sense of humor and very recognizable facial hair, Sequisha mostly streams shooter and survival games, and has recently been strictly streaming Escape from Tarkov. He also has a very substantial knowledge of video games considering he attended school for Simulation and Game Development. When he’s not streaming he’s creating 3D art and developing games.
His Twitch account was created in 2011, so he has been on Twitch for almost a decade. During the years of growing his following Sequisha has invested in a professional setup that is affordable and efficient. His mouse of choice is the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Mouse. This mouse is very customizable with a variety of balancing and weight settings and custom lighting options. Paired with the Logitech G513 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard, Sequisha’s set up has a visually appealing and colorful look with many custom options.
Deadlyslob is known for focusing primarily on streaming and creating content around survival shooters: PUBG, Day Z, and of course Escape from Tarkov. His Twitch and Youtube profiles both have significant followings, and he has created informative content about Escape from Tarkov. For someone new to the game, Deadlyslob’s streams are a great way to improve your own gameplay.
Deadlyslob’s gaming rig sports an extremely powerful Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition GPU. This GPU is a powerhouse with the price tag to match. A Graphics Card as powerful as this one can run practically any game beautifully, and his ASUS 24-inch 144Hz Full HD FreeSync Gaming 3D Monitor is a wonderful pairing with top notch response time and resolution.
Sacriel is a lifelong gamer from the United Kingdom. He streams full time averaging thousands of viewers, and recently has heavily focused on Escape from Tarkov. Before starting to play Escape from Tarkov he logged over 3,000 hours in Day Z, showing his dedication to survival style games.
Sacriel’s gaming rig includes the NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti which provides gamers with a very realistic gaming experience with a 13-phase power supply. For a realistic game like Escape from Tarkov, this graphics card is a perfect part for your gaming PC. Another part of his set up is the VIRTUOSO RGB WIRELESS High-Fidelity Gaming Headset, a high quality headset that is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
Since his first stream in early 2018, Veritas has gained over 100,000 followers. To gain such a big following in such a short amount of time is nothing short of amazing, and Veritas is known for incorporating his musical talent into his streams.
Veritas’s setup includes the Cooler Master MasterKeys MK750 Mechanical Keyboard. This keyboard features a sleek floating key design with a surrounding RGB light bar. The removable magnetic wrist rest allows for maximum comfort for his streaming 40 hours a week. As a musician, it’s not surprise Veritas’s headset is on the pricey side. The Sennheiser R185 is a top quality headset that guarantees a high quality sound experience with no struggles to hear any footsteps or in game sounds.
Anton is another streamer from this list that puts a lot of his focus on creating informative content. He has created quite a following across multiple social media platforms and has done so without using a webcam. He is primarily focusing on creating Escape from Tarkov content across all his profiles.
Anton uses the Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse featuring the next-gen HERO 16k sensor allowing for maximum speed, responsiveness, and accuracy. His monitor of choice is the ASUS ROG PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor with a 165 Hertz refresh rate for an enticing gaming experience that is visually stunning
Dr. Disrespect is one of the most mainstream streamers on this list. Known for his iconic mullet, charisma, and a controversy or two, Dr. Disrespect has soared in popularity on the platform. It shouldn’t be shocking to anyone that Dr. Disrespect quickly took an interest in playing a game like Escape from Tarkov.
Dr. Disrespect’s setup includes the extremely affordable Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse proving that you don’t have to break the bank to get gear that gets the job done well. Razer also manufactured Dr. Disrespect’s keyboard of choice, the Razer BlackWidow TE Chroma v2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
3. Dr. Lupo
Continuing with mainstream streamers, Dr. Lupo is one of the most well-known names from Twitch. Previously known for excelling in games such as Fortnite and PUBG, Dr. Lupo has taken on Escape from Tarkov as well. Dr. Lupo is insanely skilled at most of the games he plays, and Escape from Tarkov is no exception.
Just like Smoke, number ten on this list, Dr. Lup uses the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse. This mouse provides users with Logitech’s most accurate sensor available. His keyboard is also created by Logitech, the Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This keyboard was created to be used by esports athletes and provides a powerful yet quiet performance.
Summit1g has grown a following of millions of viewers. After retiring from the professional competitive CS:GO scene, Summit1g has seen massive success on Twitch. Summit1g is a variety streamer who has played many different games, and he most recently picked up Escape from Tarkov.
One of the more affordable parts of Summit’s setup is his headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700x Audiophile. Costing under $100 while maintaining a high quality sound and a unique open-air design make these headphones a great part of any setup. Summit’s monitor is the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q Gaming Monitor that minimizes screen tearing and stuttering.
The final streamer on our list is none other than Pestily. Pestily is a very honorable man having served eight years in the Australian military and for the entire year of 2020 he is giving away all of his donations and tips to the Starlight’s Children’s Foundation. The combination of an interesting backstory, mechanical skills, and work ethic have caused Pestily to rise to success playing Escape from Tarkov.
Pestily’s gaming PC includes an impressive Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11GB. This graphics card can run even the most demanding games smoothly, and is a perfect addition to a serious streamer’s rig. His headset of choice is the Corsair Virtuoso, a moderately priced headset that provides high quality sound and comfort.
The streamers on this list have some similarities in their setups: Top quality monitors with blue-light protection, headphones with comfortability and high audio quality, keyboards with vibrant and customizable RGB lighting, and gaming mice varying in prices but maintaining the esports athlete standard.
Streamers will always benefit from keeping up with trends and playing games that they genuinely like. Incorporating games into your stream that run campaigns like Attack On Tarkov is a great way to boost your viewer count while rewarding people for tuning in. The streamers on this list have found major success in contributing to the surge in popularity for Escape from Tarkov, and have possibly helped a title to remain popular for years to come. If your new to Escape From Tarkov, check out our Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov and our guide for Top 10 Guns In Escape From Tarkov!
Top 10 Best Original RPG Soundtracks
The masterfully-crafted melodies of my favorite video games often dissolve me in my at-home office space, floating back into these worlds I adore. Waves of nostalgia break, releasing sweet, sweet euphoria as I’m transported into the memorable battles and blooming landscapes of games past.
A truly great original soundtrack for a video game is timeless. It transcends outdated graphics and dusty game mechanics. Each score is like a save point for a moment; with a listen, loading the individual back into that space.
Some of the best soundtracks belong to RPGs, because these games more than any other strive to transport the gamer to a fleshed-out world with a strong narrative supported by vivid characters. They evoke feelings of wonder, of triumph, of loss, and this is all bolstered significantly by an imaginative background score.
Below are my top picks for the best RPG soundtracks of all time.
10. Secrets of Mana
The first of a few Square Enix additions, Secrets of Mana is the oldest pick on this list, a classic musical score by its own merits. Factor in that this game was composer Hiroki Kikuta’s first video game score, AND that he was limited greatly by the Super NES software capabilities. I put a lot of respect on this game’s soundtrack.
Within the parameters of the Super NES, Secret of Mana displays a full spectrum of emotional depth to accompany the game’s protagonist trio as they fight against the Empire. While the game itself hasn’t aged particularly well, the soundtrack is still a fantasy-laden, MIDI-driven bop. Ch-ch-check it out.
9. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire
The classic premise of pitting wild animals against each other in battle has remained largely unchanged over the course of Pokemon’s long history. However, each iteration introduces a new region to collect all new Pokemon in, and an engaging soundtrack to liven up the adventure.
The 3rd Generation of Pokemon, Ruby and Sapphire, went particularly hard in the music, incorporating a broad list of styles that never got stale. Perhaps, I’m partial to the trumpet heavy soundtrack as a former player myself. Bops like the Lilycove City waltz, the pump-up Gym Leader battle music, and the prevailing Route 104 march keep me coming back for more.
8. Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2 is a standout in this list, because the game developers don’t care to coddle the player with music to carry them through their quest to kill a queen. Naught but the sound of your lonely footsteps and the roar of the monster will join you on your quest.
That is, until death is upon you. The Dark Souls 2 soundtrack is composed of epic boss music that complements the environment you’re fighting in. The Ancient Dragon fight has a loud cacophony of choral voices with interspersed bells that callout to the wingbeats of numerous dragons and the cathedral you fight before. The haunting strings of the Mytha fight really underscore the creepy movements of the beheaded snake lady who aims to smite you
Still, there are beautiful moments here, which is a divergence from the others in the series. Meditating to the sweet tune of Majula brings me great peace between getting slaughtered wrecked by every enemy imaginable.
While there isn’t a great deal of mood variety on this soundtrack, no other game scores legendary showdowns quite as well.
Indie hit Bastion follows the adventures of a sharp shootin’ young buck known as “The Kid,” as he navigates a beast-infested world following the mysterious Cataclysm. There is a prevalent Western theme throughout the soundtrack, slide guitars and distorted twang that pair well with the Sam Elliot esque narration along your journey.
The addition of strong vocal tracks in any video game is a bold decision, but memorably executed on “Setting Sail, Coming Home” and “Zulf’s Theme.” Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or just need a good soundtrack to ride off in the sunset to, Bastion’s got you covered.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Steel for humans, silver for monsters, and a golden soundtrack for the rest of us.
It’s no surprise to me that the rugged, monster-killing ladykiller Geralt got picked up for a television series. The Witcher 3 has it all: Lively, expansive world, sharp dialogue, but most important, a lovely cinematic soundtrack.
With the following DLCs, “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine,” the musical journey only continues along the route of tense clashes and quaint village pieces. The composer triumvirate of Marcin Przybylowicz, Mikolaj Stroinski and Percival really nailed it here. If you liked the Skyrim soundtrack, you’ll love this one.
5. Chrono Cross
Hopping back and forth between alternative universes can leave a player in a real headspin, especially when those realities tend to resemble each other. Composer Yasunori Mitsuda found inspiration within this complex game mechanic, composing a masterful soundtrack that explores this duality, evoking moods that complement two realities Serge and company bravely navigate.
What this leads to is a distinct musical experience whether you’re dashing around “Home” or “Another World.” One of the best examples of this is expressed within the two Terminas. While both have an overarching Celtic theme, Another Termina is driven by a beer swigging, bouncy Irish jig, while Home Termina retains its Irish roots in a more subdued manner, more akin to your local Renaissance Faire.
This soundtrack has also aged remarkably well. While it lacks ironclad hits to truly sweep you off your feet, the music of Chrono Cross swims along with no misses, an uplifting adventure through tropical paradise from first sip to last call.
4. Persona 5
Clearly, we’re showing a lot of love for JRPGs here. That said, Persona 5 is a breakout vibe on this list, high-octane acid-jazz with cooler coffeehouse piano to break up the action.
Bouncing between character’s mental labyrinths and exploring a cel-shaded Tokyo presents a unique opportunity for sound exploration, and Atlus delivers the goods. Even more impressive, the soundtrack is able to remain engaging and fresh throughout the nearly 4-hours album length.
While I haven’t played the game, this is one of those rarities that has me interested in picking it up solely based on the grooves, man.
Undertale has received a lot of hype among indie game connoisseurs, and it’s all dead on. The low-grade graphic style that may be initially off-putting hides a game with some of the best dialogue and narrative writing.
What might be most memorable is the vibrant soundtrack is the immense mood shifts you get here. “Death By Glamour” could easily fit into your favorite DJ’s party set, while the forlorn piano in “Undertale” makes you want to weep ugly tears. Megalovania is a raucous headbanger that fits the frantic boss fight, though it should be stated here that all of the boss fights really excel at having their own signature music.
This soundtrack has also seen many different remixes, which only further memorializes the powerful effect the music has had on fans.
2. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
In almost every way, global megahit Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is superior to any other game in the series. Almost. Musically, Morrowind gets the nod over Skyrim as one of best gaming soundtracks birthed by prolific composer Jeremy Soule.
It’s not even close. At just under an hour long, the Morrowind soundtrack triumphantly cultivates the curiosity of the mushroomed continent, the serenity of solo exploration, the bold glory of fierce overland conflict. It almost feels like one continuous piece of music, no jarring transitions or flaccid fadeouts.
While Skyrim delivers three hours of beautiful ambience with a few memorable high points, the Morrowind soundtrack is an unceasing movement of captivating, truly epic storytelling.
1. Final Fantasy IX
Lemme tell you, choosing the best soundtrack from composer Nobuo Uematsu’s catalogue throughout the Final Fantasy series is a heart-wrenching endeavor. There are some seriously strong contenders here, and all could earn a well-deserved place on this list.
FFVI is a strong soundtrack throughout the album, with many high points including Kefka’s boss theme, “Dancing Mad,” which takes a close second to “One-Winged Angel” as the series’ best boss theme. FFVII easily has the best battle music across the series, but besides that, holds another sentimental high point in the collection with the tragically beautiful “Aerith’s Theme.”
Plus, who could forget the intense intro music of FFVIII “Liberi Fatali,” or the only song in the series I would take molly before listening to and dance my face off: “The Man with the Machine Gun.”
However, as a cohesive body of work that has stood the test of time, I give the crown to FFIX. Uematsu has stated in interviews this was also his favorite soundtrack, and with this soundtracks’ string of memorable hits it’s hard to disagree.
Some of the most recognizable tunes here are the sexy “Vamo Alla Flamenco,” the summer favorite “Ukulele de Chocobo,” Kuja’s savage organ piece “Wicked Melody,” and the sweeping love song “Memories of Life.”
One of the toughest parts about ranking this list was discerning personal nostalgia from the musical quality of these soundtracks. While there are some on the list I haven’t played, the strengths of the scores largely speak for themselves.
The 10 Best Skins in Among Us
Which are the best skins in Among Us?
Among Us is a fun little game that has been out since June of 2018 but only recently took the world by storm (thank you quarantine).
There is a free version of the game on mobile (both Android and Apple) and a version on Steam for PC for $4.99. Among Us has been trending on Twitch and YouTube as many famous streamers have been playing it with friends.
The premise of this game is simple; finish all of your tasks before you’re killed by the imposter or, if you’re the imposter, kill everyone before they can finish their tasks.
Like an outer space version of Clue, this game pits you against each other as you try to vote off the imposter before it’s too late.
After someone has reported a body or called an emergency meeting, the group has a chance to discuss and make their selection on who they think is the killer. Imposters can sabotage and hide in the vents as well but don’t get caught because that’ll be an immediate giveaway.
We all know that video games are made to test your skills but who doesn’t want to have a little fun with their character’s appearance as well? The ability to customize your character has long been a favorite feature among gamers and Among Us is no different.
You can change the color on your default character but even that gets a little boring eventually.
The Best Skins in Among Us
Have no fear, though, because Among Us has other ways to customize your look to make you stand out.
There are three different features that can be customized; skins, hats, and pets. It should be noted that this is purely cosmetic.
These don’t affect your gameplay but they do help to promote your online identity. So maybe that can inspire you to put all of your best skills out there.
There are a total of 15 skins available in Among Us.
Here is the list of the best skins in Among Us:
The Military skin is your basic army green. It is free on PC and costs $1.99 on mobile.
It is also part of the Military bundle that gives you this skin along with the Military Hat. Considering you are in a cosmic battle for survival, the Military uniform is quite fitting. You’ll need to be tough to survive this; there’s no calling in the actual troops when you’re so many lightyears away from safety.
Though it does look a bit like a mall cop uniform, the Captain skin can still be pretty fierce.
This skin is available for $1.99 on mobile and is free on PC. It comes as part of the Captain bundle which gives you this outfit and the Captain Hat. Again, being in a fight for your life in the depths of space takes a lot of guts.
You have to display dominance and really show the imposter whose boss or blend in with the group of actual crewmates as best you can. This probably won’t be enough to trick people into thinking you’re only there to help but you never know.
The Mechanic skin is $1.99 on mobile and free on PC. It does also come as part of the Mechanic bundle, which includes the skin and the Hard Hat.
There are three maps available in this game; MIRA HQ (more on MIRA later), The Skeld (spaceship), and Polus (a planet being used as a research base). But no matter what map you play on, there’s a lot of work to be done.
Whether you’re repairing and cleaning the O2 filter at MIRA HQ, repairing the drill on Polus, or fixing the wiring on The Skeld, there’s always plenty of work to be done. So, a Mechanic outfit is pretty fitting to get your tasks done quickly before the imposter kills you all.
The Doctor skin is available for free on PC and $1.99 on mobile. It comes in the Doctor bundle which also gives you the Stethoscope hat.
Being a crewmate, and a doctor would be quite beneficial to the group.
Working in the MedBay at MIRA HQ or on The Skeld, and even working in the Laboratory on Polus, takes a lot of special skill. So putting on a doctor’s uniform is bound to give you all the knowledge to complete those tasks quickly. You probably won’t be able to do much for your crewmates that have been cut in half but you’ll feel important.
On the other hand, playing as a doctor with a dirty little secret could be kind of fun too. Take inspiration from Dr. Harold Shipman and take everyone out.
6. Black Suit
The Black Suit can be purchased individually on mobile for $1.99 or as part of the Black Suit bundle that also comes with a Top Hat.
This is available for free on PC. You never know who will be watching you, so you always need to dress to impress. Get all fancied up with this Black Suit and be the star of the show on any map. Just don’t be too glamorous if you’re trying to get away with killing people.
5. MIRA Security Guard
Blend in with MIRA security for $1.99 on mobile or free on PC. It is also available in the MIRA HQ bundle. This bundle comes with three hats (MIRA Hazmat Mask, MIRA Security Cap, and Landing Headset) and three skins (MIRA Hazmat, MIRA Security, and Landing Official).
Even a simple game like Among Us has some great lore attached to it. Mira, usually written as MIRA, is a research company that has recently evacuated all of its crew for fear of imposters taking over the facility. They’ve shipped you out to get far away from the imposters but you still have plenty of tasks to complete no matter where you are. You’re also tasked with voting out the imposter before it’s too late.
No one would ever suspect a security guard, right? You’re supposed to be the protector so you’re obviously innocent. Dressing as MIRA security is a great way to fool the crew.
The Archaeologist skin costs $1.99 on its own for all users but can also be purchased as part of the Polus Map bundle.
This bundle comes with three hats (Miner Gear Hat, Winter Gear Hat, and Archaeologist Hat) and three skins (Miner Gear, Winter Gear, and Archaeologist).
The Polus crew could definitely use some help from an archaeologist. Storing artifacts and working in the Polus Specimen Room would require special knowledge.
So get done up in your Archaeologist gear and get it done.
3. Winter Gear
Speaking of the Polus Map bundle, the Winter Gear skin is another great choice.
It costs $1.99 on its own for users of both platforms.
Wherever you are, you have to admit that this outfit is pretty stylish. This would be especially helpful on Polus, which has some absolutely ridiculous weather conditions. You can go from lava to the dead of winter in just seconds.
It’s pretty hard to complete tasks, or kill people, if you’re frozen solid so it’s best to gear up and be prepared for this frozen wasteland.
2. MIRA Hazmat
The MIRA Hazmat suit is part of the MIRA HQ bundle and costs $1.99 on its own for all users.
There’s no doubt that a hazmat team would be helpful among the crew.
You have plenty of tasks dealing with some questionable materials. There’s also been plenty of movies that remind us about the potential dangers lurking in outer space. It’s best to be prepared.
Our favorite skin is the Astronaut. It is free on PC and $1.99 on mobile.
You can also buy it as part of the Astronaut bundle which comes with the Astronaut Helmet.
Astronaut suits are pretty useful when you’re traipsing through the galaxy. You’ll fit the role of crewmate perfectly and no one could possibly suspect the person dressed as a literal astronaut.
Remember that these skins and other cosmetics have absolutely no effect on the gameplay whatsoever.
But, as we already talked about, character customization is part of your online identity. Whether playing with friends or in a public lobby, you want to look cool. Feel like part of the team with a MIRA uniform or look snazzy wearing the Black Suit and Top Hat.
Be sure to check out some of the top streamers as well. Watching streamers play is pretty fun as is and this game has been one of the top choices for many streamers lately. Watching streamers also gives you some great tips on playing Among Us. They’ll show you the best ways to finish your tasks quickly or how to get away with murder.
Streamers are also good role models for gamers of all levels. Though Among Us is pretty basic, you’re probably playing other games too. Be sure to check out the equipment the top streamers use and climb the ranks in any game you play.
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