After multiple playthroughs, I think I found the problem I had with the demo.
The inability to lock on targets.
More often than not I find myself holding my shield up in random directions, failing to block at times. Same goes for parrying. Also, when your pawn grabs an enemy off screen and you start to swing your sword at nothing before landing a hit on the enemy, killing the smooth pace of battle.
I know that this is a design choice, and that the game focuses on group encounters and fast paced combat in which, at some instances, locking-on might prove disadvantageous. But it also gives the battle system a clumsy, messy feel to it, especially for someone such as myself who prefers to take on enemies one at a time.
I see no harm in adding something optional like a lock-on system. A win-win situation for those who prefer using it and for those who don't.
Regardless, I'm still excited for the retail version.