Welcome (back) to Pandora
Recently I was made aware of a little quirk with Xbox One's backwards compatibility function. If a game is on the supported list you can also play any regional version of that game. After hearing people talk about playing Borderlands (JP) without an issue (and even having all DLC downloaded and installed instantly), I decided to jump in and test it out for myself. Worst case scenario would be that it didn't work and I'd be left with a Japanese copy of a game I love.. No real harm I guess.
Cut to today. I receive the game, insert it, the Xbox One recognises the Japanese version and prompts me to download the game. Winning, or at least for the moment. After an hour or so of downloading I started up the game expecting to be bombarded with all sorts of kanji, but alas this did not happen. So I'm sitting there, watching the game play in English, quickly rushing through the intro so I could get to the pause screen and load up the achievements list. Sure enough it was registering as the Japanese version of the game even though it seems to be the English version. Disappointed, I started to play.
I'm unable to find anywhere what the difference is between the normal and the Japanese release. I know some games remove content based on regions (China is a good example with skeletons or is it zombies... something to do with dead walking). I'd like to know to see if I am playing the normal version but it's registering as the Japanese version just based on the disc inserted.
So lets cut to a few observations of the game having not played it in many many years. The game feels very grindy compared to the later games. This isn't a bad thing, as a good RPG will reward players based on the amount of effort they went through to do something. Certain things like weapon perks based on levelling up the weapon skill through use feel right. Of course you are going to get better at shooting a specific weapon the more you use it. The fact that you have to carry around heals rather than just running over the top of them feels more challenging, and gives you that option of tactical medication use rather than scrambling around praying for a health item to drop. Also speaking of picking up items, the inability to run over and auto-pick up stuff is starting to make my finger twitch. Don't know if this is a good thing yet.
So to sum it all up, this quirk adding region free to backwards compatibility is a nice one. Hopefully they don't fix it any time soon. I don't think they will fix it as it's breathing life back into old games, and that in turn will allow more sales of older stock (although most will probably be second hand).
UPDATE: I updated the core system to the latest version update and everything still works.