[QUOTE=MoonMetropolis]You can change the disc to region-free with a bit of techno-savvy.
It's my understanding that you can only do it via something called jtag that allows you to edit your consoles region to play games from any region you desire. And apparantly if you've installed any system updates over the past couple of years, it's impossible to now jtag your system.
And this puts you at risk of a console ban. So if you have any interest, however slim, in occasionally updating your console and software, accessing the marketplace (The Critic has reviewed a few XBLA games), and online multiplayer, it isn't the way to go since it will be detected and you'll lose your privileges.
I suppose losing Xbox Live isn't an issue though if you have a system so out of date that you can still jtag it. But considering that he's reviewed things like Hydro Thunder Hurricane, his window of opportunity to do this has already passed since his system has been updated to make it impossible or he couldn't of made that purchase.
Unless there's been a recent advance in the last few months, your only choice to play Japanese imports unless you have a old system laying around that has been idle for a few years that could be jtagged, is buy a second hand jtagged North American console or an import Japanese console.It's my understanding a mod chip just opens up your ability to play backups, including backups from other regions that have had the region coding removed. It doesn't do you any good playing a retail game from outside your region unless you're going to pirate it and burn it to DVD-r.
The Final Fantasy series (up to VI) you can play for free on an emulator. Just download a GBA emulator for IV, V, and VI, and Dawn of Souls (contains I and II). III you could get on an NES emulator, but you would probably be getting a Blind Idiot Translation. I highly, highly suggest you play VII though, I just want to see your reaction, and try to avoid spoilers for it if you haven't already.
I actually like this game better than Gran Turismo and Forza. It has a ton of different racing styles - like custom, stock, open wheel, rally, and go karts (way before Gran Turismo 5!). The only thing that it really lacks from GT and Forza is the number of licensed cars. Otherwise, I think it's better in every way. And it really doesn't matter which version you pick up - PS2 or Xbox - they're both fantastic. The only difference is that the Xbox version looks slightly better (as usual) and it supports custom soundtracks.
The PSP version has an extra track. Always considered downloading that to my Go and playing it on a tv with a PS3 controller, but I'm stuck in the console version. About halfway through both TOCA Race Driver 2 and 3, I hit brick walls and couldn't progress (Haven't gotten around to playing Pro Race Driver or whatever they called the 1st one over here, yet, although I bet it's similar).
I preferred the PSOne trilogy. They felt more like straight racing simulations where you'd actually race. the PS2/Xbox games had those awful storylines and I never really felt like I was racing. They were almost puzzle games. You'd go low off the line and pass three cars before turn 1, but restart and go a different direction at the start and you wouldn't gain a spot before turn 1 and never would catch up to the leader. I could restart 10 times and the same things would happen depending on what approach I'd pick. It was almost like they were puzzle games with just one specific way to solve the problem that was given you.
Fun games though.