an endgame stage unlocked after beating.....let's say Mountain 1 There, you must finish challenges to upgrade your stats. Those challenges are pretty difficult and require some strategy/good weapons, no penalty when you lose. There are 2 main types of challenges, team and solo. Team challenges reward you with SP, and eventually an item of your choice Solo challenges let you upgrade the corresponding character , by - for example - adding an extra compo slot There are various sets of solo challenges for each class(obvious).
This is not an attempt to get the game to become easier, challenges with better rewards should be unlocked only to help us pass the very hard levels. And the challenges themselves, must be more difficult than the story mode (what story?) levels.
Upgrading characters could also give them new abilities like ability to dodge attacks(like auto walk) or create temporary walls, or teleport....etc
Or a special new character, anybody play pokemon tower defense, on challenge you get like extra awesome items if character so rather than upgrade how about new stuff e.g. Extra guy or just decoration Thingy.
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how about doing an area that's unlocked from level one behind the town which spawns infinite enemies in waves which each drop increasing amounts of gold and always give 10% exp for your level for each wave and give 1 token. have another shop that lets you spend your tokens on sp, levels, compo slots, and compo items