As always, the caracters are walking clichès, with the usual Bioware Good-Evil dualism rules without mercy (though this time it is a bit more justified, since Star Wars always tended to me quite "manichaestic") and dialogues that often fall into banality.
This is actually fixed in KotOR 2 (and Solomon's Revenge mod has - in my opinion - better story than the original game).
I loved this game when I played it for the first time but after playing TSL and then trying to play KotOR again I found the later to be pretty dull plot- and character-wise.
I don't know what game you've been playing, but the one I've been playing is just as bad as KOTOR when it comes to the laugable good vs evil crap. I realize it's partially the Star Wars universe itself and partially the need to build off the first game, but it's still the same idiotic wandering saint vs school bully crap. I think it would work as parody - "oh no, I don't need no reward, please take my credits too, I mean I only saved your life" vs "I R CRUSH, YOU GIVE CREDIT OR CRUSH!". And of course, the second game is even worse in regards to how it treats "grey" Jedi - the first one only punished you by denying you items, the second one denies you both items and the mastery bonus, 'cause you can't master being human, apparently.
I'd also disagree that the companions have been done better, there's a few that just follow you no matter what, and a couple that steadfastly remain evil. And then there's Kreia, who is awesome, brilliantly written, and whom I love a bit too much, but that's one character. One character that is just screaming plot twist from the second you meet her. I mean, at least the big twist in the first one I didn't figure out until the second dream sequence (ship->first planet), but Kreia is transparent to me as my goody two-shoes Jedi Exile to her.
One last thing, I first started playing with the Restored Content Mod, because hey, everyone knows how buggy and unfinished TSL is, right? Nope. I played for about 20 hours, then I deleted it and started again without it. It's impossible to tell what's in the RCM because their changelog is too long to read and they have no high-level info, so let me tell you the three things the RCM does. It fixes bugs. That's good, but I haven't ran into any so far, and I'm nearing the end of the game. I'm sure they're there, it's just that they're not the stuff anyone is likely to care about. It restores content. Which is...icky, to me. I have zero confidence that someone who isn't the original developer would balance and design the content properly. But, I thought, bug fixes, bug fixes trump a few restored bits. That's because I wasn't aware of the third thing it does - it changes the existing content. Removes it in favor of the "restored" content. Uhm, could I please have a restored restored content patch? No? Vanilla it is.
Ah damn, I'll end up restating all this on the other thread as well, but since I'm already typing up a wall, let me add that I think TSL is a better game than its predecessor. It has better side-quest writing and much superior area design. To me, those are among the most important things in a RPG. The combat remained the same, but I thought the combat was the best part of the first game anyway, so I'm not exactly miffed about it. Unlike ch108, I think it has a weak start, and it doesn't really get going until
Nar Shadaa, as Peragus, Telos and Dantooine are all very, very tedious, quite comparable to Taris and Dantooine in the first game. Thankfully, Nar Shaddaa is bigger and has more quests than all of KOTOR put together - well, nearly. Its morality is annoyingly B&W (except Kreia, which is literally the only grey character there, and I do mean literally in every sense), there are no story choices to speak of, it also has zero reactivity, the character customization exposes the flaws of the character system (I counted it as a plus in the first game), as it falls apart due to the higher level cap, the crafting is annoying, the forcing of skills upon the player in a game that makes jokes about how many companions you have on a rather small vessel is also annoying, the game is unbalanced, it commits the sin of level-scaling, etc. etc. etc. - and I still
like it better than the first one.