Guys, there wasn't much that you missed in BL1. You can just jump into BL2 and know what's going on. No missing plot devices, though playing the first makes some parts more significant in a way, such as meeting the 4 main characters from BL1 the first times.
Pretty much anything significant from the first game, which is far and few between, is explained in the sequel.
The game is absolutely fantastic, you guys need to play it. There's a reason I've been offline for the past two days. The physics of the game have been improved so much. The way the vehicle controls is much, much more realistic. Even stuff like running things over has been tweaked so you don't push enemies and cause your vehicle to explode, but just run things over, doing less damage and none to your vehicle. If you break during a boost and turn left you can do a power slide I believe, which is pretty cool.
The story is much better this time around, and Gearbox did a good job of really making you hate the villain. He's not just some guy in the background spouting insults at you, it's actually been established that he's killed some key characters from the last game and