So does it change the way you even approach a problem/technique/attack?
Yep. At first you will be distracted by the differences in technique, much like the differences in stairs as Carsten mentioned. After a while the distraction fades and you realise the technique has a purpose, again much similar to stairs.
A strike to the stomach (chudan ski), knife attack to the stomach and attack with jo to the stomach are all the same. The only thing that really changes is distance (ma ai). Once you realise this there are no longer three different techniques, but only one that is slightly adapted to distance. The outer form is off course very different, but what you
do remains the same.