Ys: The Oath in Felghana is now available on Steam for $14.99/£9.99. This is the first official English translation of the PC original, and the first game that publisher XSEED has released on Steam.
I'll admit my ignorance here: I've never pronounced "Ys" correctly let alone played one, but I do know that Oath in Felghana is a remake of 1989's Ys III, and that the 2010 PSP port was well-received. That version, however, was an "enhanced port," while the new Steam version is "true to the original Japanese PC release from 2005," according to XSEED. It will, however, feature Steamworks additions including achievements, cloud save support, and online leaderboards.
While I'm not a huge JRPG fan, two of my favorite things are super-challenging games and awesome soundtracks, so if my experience is anything like the one Mitch Dyer relates in his GamesRadar review of the PSP version , I may have been foolishly missing out on a series perfectly suited to me:
"Perhaps Ys' strongest asset – aside from its seriously rockin', non-stop-awesome original soundtrack – is that [its] extreme difficulty, even on normal, is rarely frustrating. We're not prone to enjoying trial and error, but the combat is a skill-based challenge. When you die, you know it's your fault, and you know how to succeed even when you repeatedly fail. It's brutal, but not unfair, which leads to even more satisfaction with your success."
XSEED plans to continue publishing on Steam, and says it'll follow up with Ys Origin "in the coming months." Has anyone played the fan-translated version of The Oath in Felghana, or one of the many ports of the original Ys III? Tell us all about it in the comments!