I just finished Ys I, the full title of which I believe is Ys I Chronicles+ Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen
Which is a mouthful for a game that could just be called 'Ys' (and I'm still saying it in my head like 'Wise' even though I know its supposed to be more like 'eese')
The remake of a remake of a remake of a game from, I *think* the Famicom (or Super Famicom?) that started the series that's huge in Japan
Its nominally an RPG but you have 1 guy called Aldo who has the class 'swordmaster' and has no magic, no ranged weapons, is level capped by about half way through the game and attacks by running into stuff, serious no button mashing just this 'bump attack' system so its more like an isometric puzzle-action adventure with RPG features
But if you like the Japanese style but don't like the FF style turn combat of these things then it might be right up your street
I really liked it, easy levels and tough bosses though and I'm feeling a bit boss-battled out generally now, also had to consult the walkthrough A LOT to work out what to do next and not miss anything fun
Its a bit short but I guess that''s why you get both parts for your money (In fact they were originally conceived as one game, apparently)
Look forward to playing part 2 at some point, on to Anodyne right now though...
Full list: http://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2014/post64
The Famicom version was a port, though I can't remember if it started on early PC or a less popular contemporary of the Famicom. I believe the split into Ys I and Ys II as well as the bump combat were due to technical limitations, but I'm not completely sure on that.
I pretty much agree with your thoughts on the game(s). I consider them more like Zelda with experience levels rather than a full-on RPG. I don't know which version you played, but if you have access to a PSP or Vita I definitely recommend Ys: The Oath in Felghana (remake of Ys III) and Ys Seven. Both are much better IMO and quite fun.
I need to make time for the rest of the series sometime.