Warzard is the Japanese name for Red Earth. One of Capcom's few CPS3 games. The others being Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and the Street Fighter 3 series.
To sum it up into a tl;dr version.
- Aethetically, it's a really damn beautiful game.
- There's only four playable characters. Two of them suck.
- Airblocking everything until you're guard broken is stupid.
- Ultimate Guard is stupid.
- Randomly acquiring super stocks is stupid.
Unfortunately, it's a beautiful tragedy. More specifically, the game is aesthetically quite appealing. The graphics in general are really charismatic, vibrant, and cool, but the most notable part is the sheer amount of frames they put into this game. In general it's just really damn pretty.
The tragedy though, is that it was not designed to be a competitive game at all. There's only four player-characters to choose from, and they are totally and completely polarized.
Tao and Mukuro (Mai-Ling and Kenji respectively) would probably be the only competition-worthy characters in the game. Tao can more or less magic chain all her moves, as long as the strength of the attack increases she can chain it. Mukuro also has several target combos. Both Mukuro and Tao can chain into their launcher and follow up from there with either a juggle move or super.
Meanwhile, Tabatha (Tessa) and Leo completely lack chains. Leo has a couple useless target combos that don't actually combo, but rather they are designed to stagger. Tabatha's only chainable move is her LP. And the worst part for Tabatha, aside from having really slow attacks, is that her launcher is stupidly short ranged. As far as I can tell, Tabatha's only noteworthy combo is launch>DP>pursuit.
The pursuits are fairly polarized, too. Tabatha's and Mukuro's are actually pretty good, while Leo's and Tao's are pretty "blah". In the case of Mukuro the pursuit system seem more like an OCD stroker than an actually interesting game mechanic, since there's never a reason not to do it, while Leo and Tao might opt to not use theirs so that they have some sort of meaty/okizeme potential. Or rather, Leo might just never use his just so that he isn't placed at a disadvantage when the opponent doesn't tech (yeah, his is really that bad).
There's no super meter. Rather, there's elemental orbs that pop randomly out of chests, which appear semi-randomly on a knockdown or other oddball situation. Each player character is associated with an element, and so there's four elemental orb types. When an orb is dropped it cycles through the elements slowly. You get a damage boost if you use an elemental orb that is associated with your character, and a damage penalty if you use the opposing elemental orb. To me this whole mechanic seems pretty freaking lame. It's along the same lines as random items in games like Smash Bros.. Personally, I'm not a fan of random elements in games. If I win or I lose, I want to feel that I won or lost by my own hand, not because of some random number generator.
For the player characters there's also an invisible guard meter. And, I suspect this guard meter decays the same way it does in Street Fighter Alpha 3. If you normal block too much your guard will be broken and you'll enter a guard crush hit-reel. This mechanic was supposed to be counter-balanced by the Ultimate Guard system, except that you can't do Ultimate Guard in the air.
Basically, when you Ultimate Guard your character will go into a blocking stance and automatically block high/low/left/right, regardless, and negate chip damage and guard meter damage. If an attack connects during the UG you'll go into what seems like a slightly shorter blockstun duration, then recover normally when blockstun ends or continue to UG if another attack connects during blockstun. This effectively counters melee mixups entirely, since you block all directions at once. This dilutes the mixup game into UG-or-no-UG coin flipping. If no attack connects when you Ultimate Guard then you stand there like an idiot, unable to do anything. Plus, there's a recovery coming out of Ultimate Guard that you can't do anything about, so your opponent gets a free combo if they bait the UG and punish the failed attempt.
The issue with being unable to Ultimate Guard in the air is that you can airblock everything, but that's basically all you can do. Once you airblock you can't do anything afterwards other than continue to airblock. And due to how some moves and jump attacks work, it's possible to keep the opponent "juggled" in an airblocking state indefinitely, or at least until their guard meter breaks and you can combo them. So yeah, pretty stupid IMO.
Ultimate Guard also has an Ultimate Guard Counter or whatever it's supposed to be called. Basically, when in blockstun from an UG you input a motion, which cancels blockstun with a guard reversal move. These guard reversals are not all created equal, except that none of them do any significant damage, and I think all of them either put you at neutral or disadvantage. I do recall one instance where I used Tao's against an airborne opponent, only to be punished for doing it, though I don't remember what the exact situation was. I do know that they are, for the most part, entirely crappy moves.
Some of the characters have appeared in other Capcom games. Tabatha wound up in Pocket Fighter, for example.
Unfortunately, Capcom was sort of weird when they chose characters for Capcom Fighting Jam (Capcom Fighting Evolution). For the Warzard cast they picked two of the playable characters and two NPC's. Nool (Hydron) and Hauzer. Mukuro and Leo being the other two characters that made it into the game.
Leo is an unfortunate obvious pick, because he's more or less the main character, so they sort of had to pick him for the roster. Else, it would be like not picking Ryu for the SF cast or not picking Demitri and Jedah for the Vampire cast. I say unfortunate because while his movesets sort of "work" in Warzard's single player mode, they aren't really well designed for a traditional 2D fighting game. Fighting as or against Leo in CFJ often turns into a lot of jumping sword attacks, due to the huge range and hitboxes on a lot of his jump attacks. In other words, it becomes a lot like standard Last Blade 2 play.
Personally, I also think Nool was a bad pick for the roster. Then again, I don't think any of the NPC's should have been chosen other than perhaps Hauzer. A modified Tabatha and Tao would have been a whole hell of a lot more welcomed in place of Nool and either Leo or Hauzer, IMO.
But aside from that, CFJ is just such a bad game. It's hard to argue that CFJ is aesthetically really poor. Offensively poor, actually. Which sucks for the Warzard characters who came from such a beautiful and aesthetically rich game. But the really sad thing about it is that it was Warzard's chance to get into a real fighting game, rather than a single player game. It was like their second chance to be taken seriously. But who can really take CFJ seriously? Some people may, but not many.