I really disliked the way the drama was handled in -2 than the first one; I think that's more my beef between Serah's platitude's about "fighting for the future", Snow's nonsense attitude, and the way Yeul was handled really didn't do much for me. Sazh does still stand as one of most (I guess by this point) underplayed character in the series so far. I did find the first game a bit hammy, but the drama was ok, just too little of it to flesh out the characters beyond their arcs. I feel like it's a trend in the series though; I feel like they've stopped having fun with their characters (FFV had the Faris scene; FFVI had "Mr.Thou"; FFVII had Don's manor; FF8 had Zell and even Laguna; FF9 was like ALL of Steiner... then after taht, while FFX had SOME moments, the good times sort of dried up for more intimate moments).
EDIT: On a side note; I'm happy Vanille's awesome coral-coloured hair is back.