Keep in mind, you're talking about a game that's nearly a decade old. And funny enough, they still throw in stupid mini-games into their games now and then.
Hey, I've been a gamer since the old ZX Spectrum days! Old games and outdated graphics do *not* worry me.
Knights of the Old Republic 2 is really another beast though. There are several reasons why people think it's much better than the first:
1) It expands the mythology beyond the simple Sith/Jedi binary. What's at stake in this game is The Force itself and how that will define the future of the universe (well, not really, since KoTOR3 never happened ). It's simply a much more ambitious story that goes beyond the simple rehash of Star Wars found in KoTOR1.
2) It has arguably a better cast, or at least a more nuanced cast. In gameplay terms, gender actually matters and effects which characters you can recruit. Also, it features a rough version of the "influence" system that BioWare would rip-off for use in the Dragon Age games, where the way characters respond to you is based on a hidden stat that acts independent of your alignment. The characters also actually interact with each other depending on the status of your relationships, unlike every single BioWare game ever, where characters only talk to "you" and seem to forget that they're hanging out with other party members.
3) Obsidian took some of the D&D rules and tweaked them a little bit. I can't remember the specifics myself, since it's been years though. Certainly the quest mechanics try to deviate from the BioWare formula of "fake open world" anyway.
The thing about KoTOR2 is that there is really only one way to play the game now - with the Restoration Mod that restores most of the content that was cut from the original release. It turns a very good game into a great game - especially if you're invested in Star Wars and seeing the mechanics of RPG storytelling unfold.
Unfortunately, KoTOR2 just isn't available anywhere legally online (as far as I know). I don't know if there's some weird rights thing that is preventing LA from selling KoTOR2 or if they aren't interested in selling it (which is dumb considering TOR is out). But it is worth tracking down a PC copy of the game in order to play it with the cut content restored. Although the ending will still be "abrupt" (insomuch as this was supposed to be the second game in a trilogy), the restored content adds so many interesting layers to how the ending plays out that it makes that much more interesting - and more importantly, the party influence system actually plays an important part in how the ending resolves itself.
I've actually gotten my hands on a copy of KotOR 2 and have so far really enjoyed it. The intro level(s) was a bit on the dull side (though nor nearly as bad as Taris) but they managed to break it up a bit with the switching perspectives. However I wouldn't fancy doing that several times for multiple playthroughs mind, that'd be a hell of a slog.
Anyway, I think I'm about half way though having completed Nar Shaadda, (sp?) Danooine and have just gotten to the Mandalorian camp on Dxun.
I have noticed a number of weird bugs, even though I installed the "restored content" mod right from the off. Mostly minor stuff, though I think there's a fairly major on in that I can't seem to find the HK factory and the journal entry for the quest has vanished.