I purchased it for the PC and kinda regret it. I thought the controls for the PC were atrocious. Keep in mind, I'm not playing with an xbox controller on my pc. The controls are so bad, I'm thinking about giving up and buying a controller for this game. If i could redo, I would get it on console.
I beat the first one twice. Once back around the time it came out, and a second time recently. So I'd have it fresh in my mind, both for story, and to compare it to the second one.
Thus far, I think the second one is a lot better, but the first is no slouch.
So far as recommendations for you, the first one is about 15 hours long (and that was with me finding 100% of the items in the game), so no, not as lengthy as the second. And yeah, you should play the first. It's a great game. Mark Hamill is in it.
Definitely start with the first game. While the second one does a good job of prefacing the first's story throughout the game, it may mean more to you if you've already experienced the first.