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Shouldn't have chosen Super

Discussion about this classic Genesis/Mega Drive game.

Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby DomingoRules! » Tue Nov 27 2018 7:02am

I've been playing Shining Force 2 recently, and decided to do something a little bit different. Instead of having a single main force, I've been trying to use pretty much everybody. Make the team feel more like a full army, rather than 12 + junk as per usual. And admittedly it was a fun way to play for awhile. Swapping characters like Slade and Gerhalt in when battling outside because they're not affected by terrain, or using knights indoors where terrain can't mess with their own. The only character that's never left my party is Sarah because of being my only healer for a long time, then later on I decided to stick with her because Slow has proven useful a couple times because naturally by swapping characters around all the time, my levels are a bit below average. Which leads into a bit of a problem I've run into.

Super hurts. Super hurts a lot, even when at proper levels, but for some reason I thought it would be fun to have the added challenge of playing on Super despite knowing that I'd eventually be a bit under-leveled. Wasn't too much of a problem for much of the game, but as I built a larger Force, levels have stretched thinner and thinner, and it's gotten to a point where pretty much everybody except Bowie and Peter (who despite only being used in some battles is still Peter) instantly dies in one hit to every single enemy unless Boosted, and even then they'll only survive with a few HP remaining assuming it's the buff's first turn.

I've managed so far, but currently am at the first battle after returning to Grans, and for the battle have active party members who's levels are as low as 9. I've got game over on that fight twice now (although the first I would've Egressed if Bowie hadn't been confused) simply because it takes a third of my force just to take out a single enemy because of their low attack powers, and it's nearly impossible to lure enemies to me without somebody getting taken out in the process. If there's more than two or three enemies attacking at once, then it's pretty much over, especially since my party criteria for the game thus far doesn't have any active wizards/sorcerers in this fight because of the rough terrain. The difficulty spike upon returning to Grans Island might simply be too much at such low levels. I feel like I could pull it off if I were playing on any other difficulty, but Super is becoming quite a problem.

Of course, I also don't want to deliberately grind (retreating if needed is fine, though) since it would kind of ruin the experiment of seeing how the game would go with using almost everybody, but there may not be much choice at this point if I want to actually finish. The original plan was to do this with the first game instead because of how underpowered enemies usually are in that, but the better balance of SF2 is probably the biggest obstacle of all.
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Re: Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby habbey » Thu Nov 29 2018 2:03am

Ya, I did basically the same thing a long time ago, goal of using everyone evenly and no 'grinding', albeit with the slightly different guiding rule of always use the lowest level chars in each battle. For that run (to accomplish no grinding) I even reloaded if I failed a battle to really hammer that home. It was definitely interesting and got you to use everyone nicely, but I didn't end up finishing the run (I rarely finish runs though as I just get bored and move onto a new game, only to come back for a new type of run a year later). Gehsp under that ruleset was really tough, but ended up getting it on second attempt, but I believe Cameela was where I stopped. She beat me a couple times and I was at my natural attention span anyways. I'm sure without allowing some 'failure grinding' I would've softlocked eventually no matter what. It is probably a ruleset that works better on non-super, or with the allowance of 'accidental/failure grinding'.
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Re: Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby DiegoMM » Thu Nov 29 2018 10:56pm

This 12 + Junk tradition in shining games really bothers me. I wish we could swap characters more often, but the game system are not build with that in mind, we must focus only in a few members to survive the battles.
How you guys think it could different in the system to allow swapping more often and with less cost?
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Re: Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby DomingoRules! » Fri Nov 30 2018 3:26am

DiegoMM wrote:This 12 + Junk tradition in shining games really bothers me. I wish we could swap characters more often, but the game system are not build with that in mind, we must focus only in a few members to survive the battles.
How you guys think it could different in the system to allow swapping more often and with less cost?

Which is weird considering in the first game Nova pretty much tells you to use certain types of units in certain battles, almost as if the game expects you to be swapping party members frequently, but then it's not.

A simple solution would be to just have it so all inactive party members gain EXP after every battle. Perhaps an automatic level up whenever a non-random encounter is successfully cleared. Might not allow them to totally keep up, but would prevent them from falling uselessly behind.

Just beat Odd Eye, so getting near the end. That was a fun battle, where my team was mostly ranged characters with good movement, a few fliers, and Chaz + Tyrin for long-ranged magic. Mostly avoided strictly melee units (only ones were Peter and Skreech) because of the wonky battlefield, and with the flat floor it was easy to lure a lot of the enemies close, then rush them from far away with centaurs and snipers.

Been actually avoiding using Peter in every single battle, using him mostly in battles where fliers are especially useful. Wanted him in that last battle though for the extra attack power against the boss.
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Re: Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby DiegoMM » Sat Dec 01 2018 5:09pm

Yes, giving exp to reserve member is the best option, how much you think would be fair? I though on 40 exp, so they will gain a level every 3 or 2 battles.

Another solution would be a training room inside caravan/HQ, much like hero test from sf3 or fairy woods special battle.
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Re: Shouldn't have chosen Super

Postby DomingoRules! » Sun Dec 02 2018 3:05am

Finally wrapped up the play through, and it was quite the experience. Although challenging at times due strictly to low levels, it was fun changing my party for almost every battle instead of just using the same characters and strategies fight after fight. Although I didn't go out of my way to grind, I didn't shy away from using Egress if a battle was lost, so some extra EXP was gained in doing that a few times. I also suffered a total party wipe during my first attempt at the King Galam battle (mostly because of Muddle 2, which I forgot the Reapers could cast). There were a few other defeats earlier in the game since I'm not very accustom to playing on Super in general, but those prompted resets since I still needed money later on for mithril weapons, not to mention money was very tight throughout much of the game when trying to keep every party member optimally equipped. Heck, when I got to the point where I could purchase Chrome Lances, I had to actually put off buying them for a few battles due to lacking funds in trying to have everybody armed with their best available weapons, rather than just the usual 12.

Toughest battles due to the party swapping were definitely the first battle upon returning to Grans Island, and that versus Red Baron. Both of which I utilized a bit of save scumming to avoid retreating over and over until my levels won the battle for me since my overall ATK power was lacking, and it took a third of my party just to defeat a single foe. Things improved though once I got the mithril weapons, and enemy defense powers stopped increasing much in favor of simply having more HP in the final battles.

If I did this again, I don't think I would do it on Super, simply to make my low levels less frustrating since some characters got to a point where they couldn't even survive a single hit with Boost active.

With all that said, I've compiled a list of every character's final levels, as well as the last battle in which they were used. I won't be including equipment since some mithril weapons, as well as rings, were sometimes swapped between characters depending on who else was being used alongside them. So without further ado, here's my final stats.

Bowie: Level 27: Zeon
Sarah (MMNK): Level 20: Red Baron
Chester (PLDN): Level 20: Zeon
Jaha (BRN): Level 13: King Galam
Kazin (SORC): Level 18: Zeon
Slade: Level 13: Red Baron
Kiwi: Level 14: Ancient Tower Exterior (AKA the battle that follows Odd Eye)
Peter: Level 25: Zeon
May: Level 19: Zeon
Gerhalt: Level 12: Red Baron
Luke: Level 15: Ancient Tower Exterior
Rohde: Level 17: King Galam
Rick (PGNT): Level 10 (promoted at about 24 due to waiting for Pegasus Wing): Ancient Tower Exterior
Elric (SNIP): Level 19: Odd Eye
Eric (PLDN): Level 1: Unused
Karna (VICR): Level 1: Unused
Randolf (GLDT): Level 1: Unused
Tyrin (WIZ): Level 23: Zeon
Janet (SNIP): Level 18: Odd Eye
Higins: Level 20: King Galam
Skreech: Level 17: Ancient Tower Exterior
Taya: Level 16: Ancient Tower Exterior
Frayja: Level 13: Unused
Jaro: Level 20: Zeon
Gyan: Level 22: Zeon
Sheela: Level 30: Zeon
Zynk: Level 20: Zeon
Chaz: Level 23: King Galam
Lemon: Level 23: Zeon
Claude: Level 18: Zeon
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