depends on your personal tastes, attention span and how much you like training XD!
Neo, harder levels and more training, but more challenging which I like personally. Lovable lands. decent voice acting, lovable characters. Good overall. Loved how I could see the resemblances between the old and new.
Love the music and animation cut scenes.
Exa, great animation, LOVE THE CHARACTERS, good story (but feels like half is missing, I swear!) ability to play over again with other character plus new areas after game. Easy game play (way too easy compared to neo.... until after game that is) map areas are a disappointment due to a hodgepodge of neo lands, but over all lovable game. good music, but again like neo, but changed. AND it must be good if Sega chose that game over ALL other shining titles to represent the shining series for project x zone, so yeah.
Honestly I love them about the same. I played the original shining force since I was 6 till I found out the phenomenon of internet and saw shining force neo in a game stop. I honestly didn't know about 2 or any other games so for me I never knew anything else but neo and the original. For me I have a love for all shining force games due to that fact. Took me awhile to switch to exa though and HATED it at first, but now I LOVE IT!!!
Nostalgia seems to have played a big role for most people here.....
Give shining force games a chance and play (for some people suffer) through it all THEN decide whether it sucks or not, you may find it might just grow on you! (like they have for me)