I recently saw a YouTube video with Brazilian jiu jitsu expert Eddie Bravo talking about falling in love with the artform, and practicing, practicing, practicing.  Isolated skills training is something that MMA fighters often have to round out their skill set.

This type of isolation training is something I’ve noticed more and more in games.  That is, they give you some opportunity to isolate your skills in a controlled environment, and then apply those skills throughout the rest of the game.  Here are a few examples that I’ve seen recently:

Geometry Wars: When you don’t have to think about shooting (Pacifism) or you can focus on moving from one position to another (King), you’ll develop new skills that dramatically improve you game in Evolved or Deadline.

Team Fortress 2 and Sniper Elite: A few years ago I sat down and tried to play Sniper Elite.  I found some of the stages were really difficult, largely because I had trouble aligning my shots on the fly.  THEN I played Team Fortress 2.  After about a hundred hours of playing as the sniper, I got good enough that I could head-shot nearly anyone, including scouts mid-jump.  I returned to Sniper Elite recently, and every enemy seemed to move in slow motion. Where I initially struggled going through the first level, I can now chew through the stages in that game.

Batman Riddler levels: In Arkham City, I discovered that there were bonus points to be had for using gadgets in the Riddler levels.  This translated into extra XP in the regular game, but also translated into more health recovery in battles.  Once I realized this, I spent a few hours just working though the Riddler levels, concentrating on weaving the gadgets into battles with large numbers of opponents.  In addition to making my movements more fluid, I found that it make the battles a lot easier in-game.

I’m sure there are other examples out there of isolation training making you better at the regular game.  Can you think of any?