The Akihabara district of Tokyo is slowly metamorphosing in accordance with the locals' dreams and desires, and it's up to you to examine the clues carefully and determine who's responsible for each new change you encounter. Only then will the entrance to his or her "Delusionscape" open, allowing you access to the maze-like dungeon that lies within. Clear out the "Grand Phantasm" from the depths of this dungeon, and the delusion will vanish, along with all the "Deluser's" memories of it. Which is what you want, for the good of the town… right?
While Akihabara is slowly being eaten away by delusions, its residents remain blissfully unaware that anything is wrong at all thanks to a bizarre temporal loop that causes the same Sunday to restart every night at midnight. Only Asahi and his friends – as well as those responsible for creating the delusions in the first place – retain their memories from loop to loop, making it necessary to pay special attention to the things people say during interrogations and note any day-to-day discrepancies.
Akiba has been through an anime boom, a video game boom, a pop idol boom, and – not too long ago – a maid boom, with maid cafes opening all over the district. Naturally, anyone who lives in Akiba can't help but run into maids here and there, and some have even gotten themselves caught up in the whole delusion dilemma. These maids may join you in your quest under the right conditions, helping you identify the locations of shops and treasures, as well as giving you advice during battle and maybe even jumping in to aid you directly from time to time.
Touch a hostile "deluseon" on the map to trigger a real-time combat scene, which allows you to control one of up to four party members while the computer controls the others (and your maid). You can switch to and from any party member at any time, granting you access to each party member's unique weapon and even more unique skills as you work toward dispatching every last foe that dares cross your path. Dodge, jump, give tactical instructions to your teammates, and pay special attention to elemental strengths and weaknesses for the most efficient battle results!
Each playable character's weapon is actually a PP, or "personal pumputer," designed not only to dispatch deluseons but also to play music. By upgrading the individual components of your PP (motherboard, hard drive, memory), you can greatly increase your combat capabilities – and by inserting special CDs and filling the "Imagine Gauge," you can engage "Imagine Mode," playing character image songs while intricate projections fill the battlefield. Groove to the music for endless stamina, and attack during the chorus for a major boost!
In addition to customizing your PP with new computer parts, you can customize yourself as well, and not just with fancy new duds! Buying booster packs for "Vanishing Fantasy" – an in-universe collectible card game – grants you access to cards that somehow attach to your person (don't sweat the details) to boost your stats considerably. You can also combine individual elements of each card with mathematical modifiers and punctuation like +, -, x, %, ;, etc. Doing so has literally no effect on anything, but it looks super;cool, doesn't it?
16 chapters of metaphysical mystery-fueled adventure await, along with a whopping 76 character-driven side quests (at least 3 per NPC) and over 500 monster-hunting missions. Take some time to stop and smell the roses, and you'll be rewarded with extra narrative depth as the curtain is pulled back on both Akihabara and its residents. (Oh, and you'll get items, too! Good ones that'll ultimately save you a bunch of money!)
Play in Japanese with English text for purists, in English with Japanese text for people trying to learn the language, in Japanese with Japanese text if you're Japanese, or in English with English text to understand what's being said AND hear our spiffy new dub (the biggest in XSEED history, at least at the time of this writing!). Enjoy the game however you'd like, in whatever language you think sounds best and whatever language you think reads best. Options are awesome!