I think it's absurd to think that BL2 is worse than BL1. Losing the gore was stupid, but making that into a big deal is also stupid. To say that Anthony did "nothing but regurgitate Internet memes" is a HUGE exaggeration. There is some of that. But to deny the existence of of an actual narrative with plot points and character motivation because of a handful of references seems silly.
The "love child of Borderlands 1 and Phantasy Star Online" comment I don't get, because I never played Phantasy Star Online, but I can't see anything bad about variety in the environments as seen in BL2 and especially when compared to the all-desert-all-the-time of BL1.
I loved Borderlands 1, but for me, Borderlands 2 is hugely improved in just about every way.