Shinobido has the player take the role of an amnesiac ninja who wakes to find himself lying on the bank of an unfamiliar river. In fact, everything is unfamiliar, as the man finds that he can no longer remember his identity and has no memory of his life or situation up until the point of his regaining consciousness. Finding only a sword lying next to him on the ground, the man stumbles across an isolated and seemingly derelict shack, only to have an arrow shoot past his head and lodge itself into the shack's outer wall. Startled, the man scans the trees and undergrowth surrounding him, but then notices a letter attached to the arrow. The letter states that the person who wrote it is simply a "concerned bystander," and further identifies the amnesiac man as "Goh," a ninja of the Asuka clan, which was wiped out the previous day. The letter informs Goh that his memories and soul have somehow been stolen and placed within eight mystical stones which were scattered during the initial attack on the Asuka ninjas' village, and then further scattered by people who have located and claimed the stones.
The player takes control of the Asuka ninja, as Goh, "The Crow", who conducts various missions and tasks, primarily stealth-based, for one of three warlords competing for Goh's allegiance. Missions include assassination, escort duty, protection, theft, kidnap, and various other clandestine operations at the request of the lords, and are delivered by a mysterious individual who shoots a message-carrying arrow into the wall of Goh's shack, the usual method of notification, used throughout the game. Generally, several missions will be available to the player at any given time, and will sometimes involve locating and claiming one of the eight stones containing Goh's memories and soul, after gaining the trust of a particular lord, who will advise of the stone's whereabouts. The character is guided by the mysterious "Onji", who helps him in his search for the truth, for his memories and for the greater evil that threatens Utakata.
The players take the role of Goh the Crow, an amnesiac ninja and the sole known survivor of the Asuka Clan, which was exterminated the night before. With no one to trust but the letters of a mysterious "bystander", and three warlords vying for his loyalty, Goh must decide how should he act, how should he use the warlords and what should be his goals in the war-torn land of Utakata. Things will become increasingly difficult however as rival ninja clans descend to Utakata, and an enigmatic one-eyed ninja comes hunting for his blood...
The opening scenes of the game don't do much justice. Shinobido: Way of the Ninja will not be any different from the others. The player will find themselves taking on the ninja Goh, who has no memory of who he is or why he has washed up on the river bank. And guess what? The narrative is all about finding the fragments of your memory in the form of pink stones. Only they will reveal the truth about a devastating attack on your village.
The short answer to 'is this a revelation in the ninja game genre?' is no. Shinobido: Way of the Ninja makes a valiant effort in its writing to attract players with a decent story, but every gameplay aspect melds tirelessly to present a bland paste. It's worth noting that this game only came to fruition because the developer's beloved Tenchu series was lost to another entity. 2b1af7f3a8