TL;DR: I wish there was a middle rating for recommendation because I don't think the game is bad enough to be a Thumbs Down but not good enough for a Thumbs Up either. I would recommend this to any Ys fans but personally I was kind of underwhelmed. I'm not even sure what it was that underwhelmed me but I liked Ys Origins a lot more. Maybe it's because it feels like you only need to beat it once and then move on to another game. Save the other Ys games for after you've beaten this one for a more rewarding experience.
[Difficulty - good]: As with the other Ys games, you have difficulties for everyone to be able to enjoy the game although there are at least 2 bosses that are annoying no matter what you choose.
[Story - average]: Pretty standard stuff but I liked the little touches here and there to make the story more than just a standard issue "Evil being awakens and you happen to be nearby to slay/seal it for the villagers" story. I don't know if Ys Ark of Nepishtim would explain why Adol and Dogi are traveling together but not being able to own and play it may explain why I feel so disconnected from Felghana.
[Characters - good]: As with all the other Falcom games Steam has, the attention to details about every character's personality and lives is always a pleasure to read about. The merchant trying to get fame and fortune, the hardworking townspeople and a surprisingly kind countess are just a few to name in adding layers to the otherwise cookie-cutter plot.
[Graphics - average]: It's a matter of personal tastes on this one. The characters look great to me since I prefer the 2D anime style over full 3D characters. The cinematics are as lovely as I've come to expect from any Falcom game as well.
[Music - excellent]: One thing this game has no problems with is the music, my favorites would definitely be the world map and clock tower music. Not to say the rest wasn't memorable though.
[Combat - good]: It uses the same combat and magic system as Origins which makes playing one then the other very easy to transition into.
[Length - average]: It may be a good length for people who prefer short games but as for someone with tons of spare time and expectations of RPGs to have decent length and content in them...it was disappointing how quickly I chewed through it. That disappointment also leads to my rating for...
[Replayability - bad]: Unfortunately there is almost no reason to replay this game except to get Steam achievements. The version we Steam players got is lacking all the extras the PSP version players get for beating the game and time attack mode.