Past Zelda games empowered players by giving them the ability to shape the world, which is exactly why Skyward's puzzles seem so uncreative in comparison -- they're mostly tied to the game's motion-control input, rather than the inspired tools of Zeldas past. Even the series' day/night cycle has been excised in Skyward Sword, replaced with a binary option (the equivalent of a virtual light switch) used to solve a handful of side-quests in a shockingly small number of locations. The former ability to tinker with so many elements of Hyrule gave this fictional world a certain sense of veracity; in comparison, Skyward Sword comes off as a look-but-don't-touch Zelda museum.
Link and Zelda are best buds living in the floating island paradise of Skyloft. But when Link starts having nightmares of a great beast engulfing the whole world, a sequence of events begins that will change everything - including the mythology of the Zelda franchise.