How HD graphics helped inspire gameplay in Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World marks the franchise's first 3D foray into HD. Nintendo's colorful animated worlds really come to life with the added power offered by Wii U. However, Nintendo rarely focuses on graphics for the sake of graphics. Game director Kenta Motokura pointed out that the jump to HD allowed the team at Nintendo Tokyo to come up with new gameplay ideas.

"Now that we're able to have graphics in HD, this is allowing us to express some different ideas that we really haven't done before," Motokura said in a group interview transcribed by VentureBeat. "For example, the clear pipe is something that's just that much easier to see in this kind of presentation, and this allowed us to connect it to new ideas for gameplay."

In 3D World, players will be able to switch direction while traveling inside the clear pipes. With hazards and bonuses tucked away in the pipes, the translucent change adds a lot of gameplay opportunities. "We had a lot of fun thinking about what happens exactly inside the pipe if you could see through it. What sort of things are able to go through? And so we worked on, 'OK, maybe fireballs can go through. Maybe even Goombas could go through.' We spent a lot of time coming up with different variations."

We walked away from our recent hands-on with the game thoroughly impressed. Super Mario 3D World will be available on Wii U on November 22.