Hard shifting is the symptom for worn brake belts in your transmission. If it does that in all the gears, you are looking at a complete overhaul of the trans. Money can be saved by taking it out and put it back in yourself (with help of a (couple of) friend(s)?)
It's quite normal for Japanese lightweight construction to fail after 200.000 miles.. Make sure that the car is worth the investment as you might be looking at worn constant velocity joints, suspension parts etc. etc as well...