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Shining Force 2 or 3?

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Shining Force 2 or 3?

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Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Borg1982 » Tue Aug 17 2010 10:05pm

Which one is better; why?
Warderer: Hindel, accept my condolences.
Hindel: Sir?
Warderer: I heard that your younger brother died at the hands of a lowly swordsman.
Hindel: It couldn't be helped. The law of the land states, if one is unable to protect oneself, one deserves to die.

-- SHINING FORCE CD
Warderer: Hindel, accept my condolences.
Hindel: Sir?
Warderer: I heard that your younger brother died at the hands of a lowly swordsman.
Hindel: It couldn't be helped. The law of the land states, if one is unable to protect oneself, one deserves to die.

-- SHINING FORCE CD
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Sinful Force » Wed Aug 18 2010 12:00am

Easy. SF3 by FAR!

Why? Because it's gameplay is much deeper with much more variety and variations of playing the game different ways. ie, let's try Synbios with Blades this playthough (differnt types and classes of weapons), let's emphasize firendships with a different set of characters, let's try this mithril weapon this playthrough (or what the smithy makes you this time (mithril weapons in SF2 are vastly superior to each other in same weapon type and getting the best one, & kinda the next best one, is very slim to nill + they are nowhere near as fun and varied as in SF3), let's try out of more varied different accessories or what the smithy gives you, let's transfer these items to other Scenarios this time (through Julian or end of game), let's try these sync points this time, and much more varied strategies at taking on enemies and battles. All these things I missed very much when I played SF2.

Throughout all SF3 Scenarios you get over 90 battles (with PD) VS SF2's over 40 (not sure exact count for both) plus much longer too. Hence much more variety and replay value again.

I definately love the the graphics better too, even though I'm a retro gamer and love 2D games juat as much in graphics if not more (I don't like 3D graphics from around the Dreamcast era and past it). SF3 (especially Scenario 2 & 3) has nice high resolution graphics & textures, and very detailed & colourfull textures that very nicely showcased the Saturn. SF2 has very good, high resolution, colourfull graphics too (my fav 2D SF graphics along with SF CD), but I really & most definately love and prefer SF3's graphics more.

When it comes to music... well, let's put it this way. After taking a break from SF3 for a bit and coming back to it again, then hearing the music again, just mesmorized me to the point of Nirvana. It's that amazing. I never had videogame music affect me like this before. I find SF3's music so appropriate, and can't believe others find otherwise. It's just that the music inspires such deep thoughts and feelings (& many at that too). SF2's music is OK I guess, and probably really good if I've never heard SF3's music.

The characters, world and story is vastly larger & better in SF3. I love observing this large deep setting with very wonderfull characters (I love every single one) and a very long story that comes together so well. And that it can be seen from so many angles and analized in so many ways too.

When I beat the amazing Scenario 1 and started Scenario 2, I couldn't believe how excited and thrilled I was to start another most amazing experience. It's like playing the great Scenario 1 again with my mind wiped. And when I finally started and was nearing the end of Scenario 3, I was so sad that is was gonna end soon and treasured every momment and took my time.


What else to say. SF3 is a game that made me love videogames again, after a long break and stuggling so much to get back into it. At first I though I was just getting older and that I outgrew it, but SF3 proved me so wrong, and it quickly became my best gaming experience ever. And my favourite game ever. Easily.

So much I love SF3 that when I finally moved on (within a year) to try other SF games I was very dissapointed that they didn't even come close to evoking those great feeling and great momments I've had with SF3.

But I'm slowly trying harder to let the best 2D SF games (SF2 & CD) grow on me. It's just that they are so basic in comaprison. As with SF3 I can find so many more ways to play through them compared to SF2. (I should of started with the 2D SF games -sigh-)


I know others prefer SF2 (or other 2D SF games) more than SF3, and that's great, but for me this really baffels me to no end. I simple cannot figure it out outside that these people grew up with this game and have too strong of a nostalgic feeling towards it and they can't accept or adapt to the 3D makeover (and other differences). Either way, as long as they enjoy very much one game in the SF series, then that's really great. And I'm very happy to for those that discoverd this great series.
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Borg1982 » Wed Aug 18 2010 8:28am

I'm in full agreement there Sinful. It seems we are nearly the same age and I would have to agree with you on a lot of aspects:

- Gameplay is deep

- The carryover from 2d to 3d was flawless. Nothing is taken away, not even loading time, and I was just absolutely stunned with how it looked in 1998 compared to PS1 games.

- The music soundtrack is tied with FF7's for my favorite all time video game tracks.

- In my top 5 games of all time along with my one favorite FF, Dragon Quest, and Mario game.

- SF3 is a game that reinvigorated my love for video games in the year 1998 because prior to its release I was wholly unfulfilled by early PS1 and most N64 games.

It is ironic that I made this thread because I felt that it was going to be a close race. My brother and many of his friends would vote for SF2 if they were here, but I am glad to see us hardcore SF fans are voting for 3, which gives me a fresh perspective than just talking with my bro & his friends.
Warderer: Hindel, accept my condolences.
Hindel: Sir?
Warderer: I heard that your younger brother died at the hands of a lowly swordsman.
Hindel: It couldn't be helped. The law of the land states, if one is unable to protect oneself, one deserves to die.

-- SHINING FORCE CD
Warderer: Hindel, accept my condolences.
Hindel: Sir?
Warderer: I heard that your younger brother died at the hands of a lowly swordsman.
Hindel: It couldn't be helped. The law of the land states, if one is unable to protect oneself, one deserves to die.

-- SHINING FORCE CD
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Sinful Force » Fri Aug 20 2010 4:53am

You know what? I would love the 2D SF game alot more if it just incorparated SF3's weapon system (and most/some SF3 weapons) via hacking.

That's it, just that, and the 2D shining Force game would be worlds better in my eyes.


Also, why SF3 is better than SF2. Though I'm not a powerleveler, I know that SF3 is the most fun game to powerlevel/train in out of the two by far. Me, I like to train very carefully and as efficiently as possible every character while doing every battle once. So, in away this is powerleveliong/taining too, just with restrictions. And I love training my character in SF3 more than any other game by far.

SF3 is still a simple game, without all the extra complex BS of FFT that unbalances the game so much and makes it so hard/impossible to balance the game decently in the first place. It's just that in SF3 it's simple enough for all beginners and the game still has so much more depth/replay/complexity, within it's simple framework, for intermidiate players than SF2. All while retaining the very fun and simple SF formula that makes it so easy for the designers to work on balancing out the game characters/enemies and battles very well.


Another major plus SF3 has over SF2 is that it has four difficulty levels VS SF2' 2 (I think it's 2?). This is a huge plus for me as I played each Scenario through each difficulty (except Scenario 3 on Insane) as I slowly moved up in ranks to mastering the game more and more at a comfotable pace (no rush, as I wanted to play through each difficulty as I was good and ready + savour the espirence for as long as possible ;) ), and still be able to maintain a no return policy.
This feature alone almost provided me with so many playthoughs of SF3 under my belt, amoung other great things that makes SF3 to replayable for me. (This also explain the very long learning curve this game has, while still being a game that is not overly complicated & broken due to it being overly complicated).
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby BoneIdol » Sat Aug 21 2010 5:13pm

Sinful Force @ Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:53 am) wrote:Another major plus SF3 has over SF2 is that it has four difficulty levels VS SF2' 2 (I think it's 2?)

Actually, SF2 has 4 difficulty settings as well; Normal, Hard, Super and Ouch!.

As for me, I'd say SF3, for similar reasons to Sinful Force; there's more in depth systems like the weapons level up system that adds an extra degree of strategy. Not to mention that the plot was a lot more grown up and involved a lot of politics and a bit more moral ambiguity (especially in scenario 2) - whereas in SF2 you are always the heroes who save the day.

However, one thing in SF3 that I think was awesome, but not done to its full potential, is the friendship system. If there was a few little tweaks to it, it could add a whole extra degree of strategy to the game, namely how to position and move your army for best effect.

What would be the best way to add this extra degree of strategy? Negative friendships. If certain characters didn't get along (and provided penalties to each others' stats if they were close by) then you'd suddenly have to position your army in such a way as to avoid these particular headaches. It would also add extra strategy in that it would sometimes be worth breaking formation and making characters that didn't like each other work together to bring down a particularly troublesome enemy (with the added bonus of making them hate each other less), but with the potential to be disastrous if you misjudge it.

Now that would add a lot more strategy on top of "gang up and kill stuff and try not to get killed".
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Sinful Force » Mon Aug 23 2010 11:46pm

BoneIdol @ Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:13 am) wrote:Actually, SF2 has 4 difficulty settings as well; Normal, Hard, Super and Ouch!.


Yeah, I had this post ready to be submitted awhile ago, but lost it do to a power failure. So instead of typing it again I said fudge it.

But now I guess I'll make a shorter post reply of what I said/remeber instead + some other things entering my head.


How did I make this mistake? Easy. I though I read someone ask for the extra difficulty level, not levels. Hence why I mentioned I wasn't sure too (and I shouldn't of been lazy, just like not retyping this post :lol:, and looked it up).

Though now that I know it has 4 just like SF3, I'm really excited to know that this trend goes as far back as SF2, and it didn't start from SF CD. I'm also looking forward to trying them all one day + for SF CD too.

Too bad SF1 does not have it (though I could be wrong again, lol. Though this time I gave it a search and couldn't find anything, unlike the search I just got for SF2). And if it doesn't, this is one major factor in the SF1 VS 2 debate, that's for sure.


BoneIdol @ Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:13 am) wrote:As for me, I'd say SF3, for similar reasons to Sinful Force; there's more in depth systems like the weapons level up system that adds an extra degree of strategy. Not to mention that the plot was a lot more grown up and involved a lot of politics and a bit more moral ambiguity (especially in scenario 2) - whereas in SF2 you are always the heroes who save the day.

However, one thing in SF3 that I think was awesome, but not done to its full potential, is the friendship system. If there was a few little tweaks to it, it could add a whole extra degree of strategy to the game, namely how to position and move your army for best effect.

What would be the best way to add this extra degree of strategy? Negative friendships. If certain characters didn't get along (and provided penalties to each others' stats if they were close by) then you'd suddenly have to position your army in such a way as to avoid these particular headaches. It would also add extra strategy in that it would sometimes be worth breaking formation and making characters that didn't like each other work together to bring down a particularly troublesome enemy (with the added bonus of making them hate each other less), but with the potential to be disastrous if you misjudge it.

Now that would add a lot more strategy on top of "gang up and kill stuff and try not to get killed".


Hmm? I wasn't as let down by the firendship system as you, nor did I expect that much more from it (though some very interesting insight you brought up there). The only thing that upset me about it was that death affaected it, and at first I wasn't sure how much of it (like all of it or a level like it is), so I never proceeded with a death.

And I think the only thing extra the friendship system did better was; to acknowledge the fact that some characters like Dantares and Synbios or Cambel and Medion are really close and that they should have a much easier time getting Soulmates (simular to how males and females have an easier time) to gauranteed Soulmates.

But after playing the game for awhile, I don't care anymore as I like to keep the game from getting to easy/broken and I love how well balanced this game is in many areas if just played as is. So a whole team Soulmated is out of the question for a person like me. Nor have I at anytime had more than something like 4 Soulmates in a playthrough.


So yeah, I think the game is fine just the way it is, because I'm a stickler for keeping the game balanced, and I think Camelot has done an amasing job with this game (SF3 in particular). And making this game too complex/comlicated tha it is would of only made it harder for Camelot to keep up with keeping the game so balanced.

I think SF3 has just the right amount a complexity and stil fall within very simple game mechanics/gameplay/game. So much so that I'm noticing how badly unlbalanced other (S)RPG games are (like FF7/Tactics/Square games). And the main cullprite behind it is that it's excessively complex to the point that it's impossible to balance the game out within a game's total development time + testing, therefore = an unbalanced mess or total brokeness.


I'm not too familiar with SF2 and how well balanced it is, but it's much better than SF1 (though, SF1 is still better balanced than most RPGs), and it seems fairly balanced from the one playthrough I've had through SF2. So no complaints against SF2 there either, though I'd like to think Camelot got it done better for SF3 and with each passing Scenario, the fact that it's a tad more complex makes it a bit harder to maintain. So these should cancel themselfs out?
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Killian22 » Sun Sep 12 2010 8:54pm

Shining force 3 !! for the Characters in general !, Music, Gameplay and for the amazing story in general !!!
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Kaihaku » Tue Sep 21 2010 6:00pm

Shining Force 3, hands down.
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby JohnKelley23 » Tue Sep 21 2010 6:40pm

SF3, not for the graphics, or even the story (eventhough the story is amazing), but the innovative character structure, the friendship bonuses, the weapon skill level, weapon based strengths and weaknesses.

It took what made the previous games great to the next level.

In SF2, you were able to choose a higher difficulty setting from the beggening though.
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Sinful Force » Tue Sep 21 2010 8:28pm

JohnKelley23 @ Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:40 am) wrote:In SF2, you were able to choose a higher difficulty setting from the beggening though.

But the difficulty levels in SF3 are more diverse. I hear that in SF2 that 3 of the difficulty levels are basically the same or that people can't tell much difference. While in SF3, there is a definate difference between all. ie, Enemy stats. (Though difference in AI is unknown... maybe there is a difference in enemy evade, criticals, and stuff like in SF2? Or is this even certeain in SF2?)

Plus it's a nice reward for beating the game, that comes along with soundtrack & SFX, music to listen to at any time. On top of adjusting what music plays at anytime and anywhere. Very nice, and the music is so epic that fits perfectly with this epic game,


Also, I thought I read here (I think Lord Oddeye sama mentioned this?) that in the Japanese version of SF2, all enemies have their stats increased to match Super difficulty level for the other diffculty levels. So the Japanese version of SF2 has better diffculty... and may even be harder than SF3 on hardest diffculty. Which is great news for SF2 fans.
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
From what I remember about reading Moogie's forum guideline awhile ago, it says that by adding the letters j/k together at the end of a sentence or post, it prevents people from getting upset... So remember South Parkateers, in case of a volcano, stop, drop, tuck and roll. ... Oh wait, er, you know what I mean. ;)
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby Salibu » Fri Sep 24 2010 10:33pm

I chose 2.
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby ZethaPonderer » Mon Jan 23 2017 2:04am

Although this is an old post (7 years already, man time is flying), I'll personally go for SF2 since it was my childhood game that got me invested in the Shining franchise. However, I'll try to be critically objective (keyword being try) as to why SF2 is better gameplay and economically sound compared to SF3.

SF2 has more than one promotion options for some character classes which I find pretty innovative. SF3 doesn't do that, but the option to have a 2nd tier promoted class (end of SF3 - Scenario 3) is pretty awesome though not as innovative compared to SF2.

SF2 is self-contained in one cartridge while SF3 is divided into 3 scenarios which you have to buy separately along with the elusive Premium Disk. Granted some of those scenario disks are cheap to buy online, but wouldn't you want a game that is already self-contained in one disk or cartridge? SFCD is basically what SF3's format better be in if Sega decides to make a Shining Force - Complete Collection out of the Force series in the distant future.

SF2's mechanics are innovative although game-breaking e.g. Sorcerors and Master Monks to some extent. Whereas SF3's mechanics although fresh and unique are just not explained very well in the actual game and wish there was more to them to flesh them out. The weapon level mechanic is fine, but the friendship level mechanic leaves a lot to be desired and is really painful to grind for Soulmate relationship.

It doesn't matter which difficulty level you pick for SF2 because this game is already challenging to play even in Normal mode (if you don't promote your characters to obscene levels unpromoted that is - 40 being the max -). You get to decide if you want to make SF2 a cakewalk, other than that the game feels progressively difficult the more you get into the later battles. However, SF3's challenge factor is sporadic. It doesn't feel progressively difficult the more you get into the later chapters especially when the friendship mechanic breaks the game every once in a while. Warriors and Healers have the best friendship bonuses and mitigate whatever challenge the game throws at you if you're not playing the harder difficulties. That's another thing about the Challenge Factor, SF3's difficulty options have to be unlocked after beating the game normally. You don't have to do that in SF2 where the difficulty options are already there right from the start. Granted, SF2's difficulty options blow compared to SF3, but at least the difficulty options don't have to be unlocked after completing the game normally.

I do like the inclusion of the thief ruins and hero's test in SF3, but it's nothing special compared to what SF2 manages to accomplish alongside SFCD. It's challenging, gets progressively difficult, and the difficulty options don't have to be unlocked by beating the game. Plus, SF2 and SFCD are both self-contained in one cartridge and disk unlike SF3.

TL;DR I vote for SF2. I want to like SF3, but the game's mechanics are not explained well in the actual game and some of them leave a lot to be desired. Plus, the fact that it's in 3 disks and you have to buy them separately kinda hurts the potential for many people to be invested in SF3.
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Re: Shining Force 2 or 3?

Postby abig84 » Mon Jan 23 2017 5:38am

For as much as I love shining force 2 I never played 3. Did it get re-released on any new devices like nintendo ds or psp? Or do I just have to turn to the emulator.
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