Thanks to the power of the Wii U, Nintendo's Mario Kart 8 will deliver a visually impressive racing game the likes of which fans of the franchise have never seen, according to the game's designers.
"We're working with HD for the first time, and we really wanted to take advantage of that," Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno said in a roundtable interview attended by GameSpot. "The last console version was Mario Kart Wii, which was released in 2008, so it was about six years ago. And during those six years, we were able to incorporate a lot of technology in our development process, but especially on the graphics side. So we put a lot of effort into making this a good looking game--it's a very pretty game."
Multiplayer has always been a major part of the Mario Kart series, but fans will no doubt recall the substantial drop in frame-rate in Mario Kart Wii when playing a local split-screen game. But now with the Wii U, however, Mario Kart 8 will sustain an enjoyable level of graphical fidelity even during multiplayer matches, Konno said.
"This time with the power of the Wii U we really made an effort to keep that graphic quality high regardless of how many ways we were splitting the TV into," he said.
For his part, Yabuki pointed out that the power of the Wii U allowed Nintendo to create better-looking character animations, to the level and range and of things that "we've never seen before" in the Mario Kart series, he said. But that's only the beginning.
"We've also been able to show movement on the [karts and bikes] that we haven't seen before," he said. "We're seeing bounding, we're seeing different parts of the kart move, we're seeing dirt on the tires, we're seeing skidmarks left on the course--again I think we've done a good job of utilizing that graphical power."
"Using the power of the Wii U, we were able to create a Mario Kart title that feels right, and the controls feel like they're perfect for this game."