Nanostray 2 Soundtrack, Manfred Linzner, 2008
Manfred Linzner remains one of Western game music’s better kept secrets – although his scores deserve to be much better known. His work particularly turned heads with the Game Boy Advance scores for Iridion 3D and Iridion II – and not just because of their catchy melodies. These scores were technical marvels, proving one could create high-quality sound on a console infamous for its lacking audio capabilities. Fortunately, the Iridion scores have seen an excellent release through a widely available arrange album. However, many of Linzner’s best soundtracks (Polaris SnoCross, Spider-Man, Fix & Foxi: Episode 1 Lupo) remain commercially unavailable.
Enter the Nano collection – a digital soundtrack bundle that includes the full scores for the four titles in the Nano shoot’em up franchise, as well as another very strong arrange album. Among the original scores included in this release, Linzner’s Nanostray 2 soundtrack is the strongest work. Significantly more fully-fledged and varied than its predecessor, Nanostray 2 closely mirrors the game in its general character. It doesn’t greatly innovate on tried-and-true shmup genre formulas, but polishes its components to an impressive degree.