No, there's no magic or hand-waving here. It'd be great if synonyms, say, applied to types, but that is not the case. If you want to make these columns first-class citizens, you'll need to change the table. You can automate this to some degree, though I won't post code to help with this unless you specify what you mean exactly by "manually" and why you think this will be a significant burden you want to avoid.
To automate this, you could say:
DECLARE @sql NVARCHAR(MAX) = N'';
SELECT @sql += CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) + N'ALTER TABLE '
+ '.' + QUOTENAME(OBJECT_NAME([object_id]))
+ ' ALTER COLUMN ' + QUOTENAME(name) + ' NVARCHAR(MAX)'
+ CASE is_nullable WHEN 0 THEN ' NOT NULL;' ELSE ';' END
WHERE system_type_id = 99;
-- EXEC sp_executesql @sql;
That said, you probably don't want to use these columns with distinct / group by anyway.