Hotsuma and Moritsune are brothers in the Oboro Ninja Clan until they were forced to duel to the death in order to determine who would wield the legendary Akujiki sword and thus become the next leader of their clan. Shortly after the duel, an earthquake hit Tokyo, and a golden palace emerged mysteriously from the wreckage. Along with the palace, a powerful sorcerer named Hiruko appeared summoning demons to ravage the city.
Shinobi is an action platformer game that focuses on chaining together enemy kills in order to keep the Akujiki sword from draining Hotsuma's health. If the player is able to chain together enough consecutive kills they can trigger a brief cutscene of the enemies violently falling to pieces, in what is called a tate (tah-tey).
The game is most notable for being fairly difficult; keeping in the spirit with its predecessors. The game offers an unlockable hard mode, and also an inferno mode these are not for the casual gamer.