This thread will be updated whenever I find new information. This is taken from a 1v1 perspective, but I play the same way in 2v2 and FFA, so I don't believe that the difference is too major.
Last Updates: 1/26/13 (Forward Square)
This thread is also my personal views on strategies/uses for Spike. I can admit that I have not looked at any sort of calculated data but I have been in many matches against all 20 characters against the skilled and the scrub. I haven't been beat in a Spike mirror match/ditto since November if that means anything. EDIT: Just lost on 1/26. But, still, nearly 2 perfect months ? Thanks for reading in advance.
Spike is a character with options. With his combined moveset, he has a move for nearly every situation you could imaging in this game. You can use him as a full zoner or a mid-ranged aggressive attacker. A notorious positive for him is the low cost for his supers combined with a relatively high AP gain from his attacks. However, there are reasons that many early-stages tier lists see Spike near the bottom, and those include a relatively slow movement speed, many slow-starting attacks, and a set of supers and confirms for the supers that appear to not be very impressive.
But I'm here to try and help those learning Spike (Just as I still am), and hopefully start some discussion around who I believe is one of the most fun characters in this game.
Neutral - DOUBLE STUN CLUB COMBO - Mash square three times and let out a 40 AP series of hits.
Positives - Fairly quick start time, so can be used as a combo finisher. The final hit has significant knockback.
Negatives - The move will not chain unless you mash, and if you mash and miss, the move is very punishable.
Side - DOUBLE STUN DASH - Horizontal Dash Attack
Positives - When charged, the move breaks guards and takes priority over nearly everything in the game. If there are multiple enemies in your path, they will all be hit; the move doesn't stop on contact. In the air, charging this move can delay your fall which is as good if not better than delaying a wakeup.
Negatives - When not charged, this move is simply not good, unless you fool them into thinking that you will charge it by some chance. There is fair recovery time on this move as well.
This video showcases some air forward square sutff.
Up - RISING DOUBLE STUN CLUB WHIRLWIND - Rising Spinning Dash
Positives - Fantastic option on wakeup when characters like Big Daddy and Sweet Tooth hover over your body once knocked down. This move takes you off the ground, which gives it a big hitbox to boot and gives a very good 30 AP with knockback. Short startup and recovery times. Takes priority over (nearly) everything.
Negatives - The move becomes predictable when spammed, the horizontal range is meh, and when baited, most Level 1's can get you midst the animation easily.
Down - GIANT STUN CLUB SWING - Golf swing-like slash with the giant stun club
Positives - Short startup time, so can be and is used for chaining or even starting combos. This is Spike's only move that lifts the opponent into the air without knockback.
Negatives - The range isn't that swell and the recovery time is a little bit meh.
Neutral - RC SATELLITE LASER - Calls the RC satellite laser. Spike controls its path and an attack input fires the vertical laser.
Positives - This is a major tool for keeping charging opponents at bay, especially those locked into a move. This is Spike's longest ranged projectile and causes a crumple.
Negatives - Long startup, long recovery, the RC car moves slow, and Spike literally just stands there while using it which obviously leaves him wide open.
Side - BANANARANG - Horizontally throws the Bananarang forward
Positives - Ranged attack giving easy AP with little to no risk. The return of the 'rang can stop opponents who have you stuck in a combo. This move can hit potentially 4 times in one use in a FFA (Twice on the guy at the end, then once on the other two).
Negatives - There is a long startup, and the move kinda doesn't set up anything or really work in a combo.
Up - SLINGBACK SHOOTER SHOT - Shoots a pellet from the Slingback Shooter.
Positives - This is Spike's only move that attacks above him. When fully charged, it gives 40 (!) AP and causes a stun if they are grounded which is around as bad as a fully-charged magic punch (or in other terms, Hades's stage hazard stun).
Negatives - The charge takes a ridiculously long time to build up, and once it is charged you are locked into the current position you are in (no keeping the charge and moving around for a decent shot). This move also misses most characters if they hit the ground.
Down - B-LAUNCHER - Spike uses his B-Launcher tool to fire a blue electrical "grenade" that explodes on contact.
Positives - The hitbox on this move is ridiculously big. It causes a fairly lengthy stun (Even if they are in the air!) which, needless to say, can set stuff up. This move also has a "down-forward" angle of attacking when used in the air.
Negatives - On the ground, this move isn't worth it because of the long startup time (usually). The range isn't all that impressive, either.
Neutral - SUPER HULA-HOOP - With each spin (you can mash for more spins), Spike inflicts damage to opponents. Continued mashing also finishes with him charging forward.
Positives - If this move does land, it gives some fair AP on the charge, which also causes ground knockback.
Negatives - The first spinning part has a very, very small AOE, and it leaves you open to not only supers, but attacks from above and below. Because of the delay, the charge will likely not hit unless the opponent is distracted. This move also has a low priority and cannot deflect projectiles like you would probably think.
Side - MAGIC PUNCH - Spike using his boxing glove to deliver a horizontal knock-out punch.
Positives - In the air, this is a better option than you may think because, on contact, charged or not, your opponent will go flying across the screen. This move also starts a good majority of Spike's AP Burst combos, since it causes a lengthy stun.
Negatives - Again, the fact that it needs to be fully charged to be effective when on the ground sucks. Using it in the air also keeps you suspended (I labeled this as a negative because you can't just start your combo right when hitting the ground either). The startup time is certainly noticeable. Also, the move on its own has low AP gain (5 AP when fully charged?!)
Up - TELEPORT BOOTS - Can teleport left, right, or bluff.
Positives - It's a teleport, self-explanatory.
Negatives - It's like a broken record; the startup time allows you to be hit while using this move more times than not. The fact that there is such a delay won't confuse your opponent, either, like Sly or maybe Toro if you want to stretch it.
Down - MONKEY RADAR (BLUE) - A monkey charges forward.
Positives - There actually is not a lot of startup on this move. The ground variation causes a "shove" like Fat Princess's Air Knight while the air version can stop a charging opponent and let you catch your breath.
Negatives - The rewards above aren't anything special, just minor things. The hitbox on the monkey is also a little small.
Down - MONKEY RADAR (GREEN) - A monkey throws banana peels onto the stage.
Positives - This is something that is necessary to use when trying to win with Spike. It's like Sir Dan's shield, Sly's counter, Sweet Tooth's mine and shotgun, etc. If the monkey in the air hits the opponent with bananas, they are stunned for a while giving you an opening. If they hit the ground, that's even better, since slipping on a banana stops a combo (or an aggressive assault) dead in its tracks.
Negatives - Using it on the ground is pointless (well, it can set up AP bursts, but the Magic Punch probably has a better chance of hitting) due to the startup time and only getting one banana. There can only be three bananas on the stage at once.
Down - MONKEY RADAR (RED) - Pipotron G charges forward with a melee combo.
Positives - The AP gained is solid.
Negatives - It takes absolutely forever to charge this up, and even so, the hitbox on the moves are pretty small despite Pipotron G's big size. Even in the air, charging this leaves you open.
Side - SONIC REVOLUTION - Picks up the opponent and using the stun club like a baseball bat, hits them and sends them flying.
Verdict - The opponent is knocked away from the AP, so it's good.
Up - CRASH HURRICANE - The opponent is lifted up as Spike jumps and smacks the opponent downward with Stun Clubs.
Verdict - Being up in the air is nice, but the opponent lands right on top of the AP.
Down - MONKEY TRIP! - A monkey appears behind the opponent and Spike pushes them down on the ground.
Verdict - This could maybe, maybe set something up if they aren't paying attention, but the opponent still recovers right by the AP.
Spike cannot truly combo off of any of these grabs without using Sonic Revolution and a wall.
Level 1 - MONKEY NET - Spike takes out the Monkey Net and slams it on the ground in front of him.
Main Uses - The wind-up of the slam can be used as an anti-air.
Negatives - The start-up time is slow and the range is poor.
Level 2 - SWORD FRENZY - Spike swings his sword and sends off a horizontal blast that kills opponents.
Main Uses - This move can punish opponents locked into a move or making their descent downward.
Negatives - The blast is slow, so opponents can have time to react and roll/air dodge. Unlike similar Level 2's (Dante, G. Cole, Radec, etc), this move stops immediately at platforms, walls, and ramps.
Level 3 - SUPER LASER CANNON - Clears the screen once automatically.
Main Uses - For when the opponent just won't jump into your Level 1 or 2. Good thing it doesn't cost much. Plus, the music is amazing. If your opponent has a mic, they will either hum along unwillingly, or rage at you and accuse the track of homosexuality.
Negatives - Only gets one kill.
"No Walls!" AP BURST - Place bananas behind the opponent before starting. Side O (fully charged), /\, Down O (Blue), Down , Down /\, .
"lol" - AP BURST - Up , STAY ON INVISIBLE WALL, Up , STAY ON INVISIBLE WALL, Up , STAY ON INVISIBLE WALL, 
"You Will Not Hit This" AP BURST - Down O (Green), X, Side , Down , Down /\, Down , X, .
"You Probably Will Hit This" - Air Side , Down , Down /\, .
"The Wall" AP BURST - Air Side , Down , Down /\, Up , WALL BOUNCE, Down /\, .
"YOLOSWAG420" KILL COMBO - Down , Down ,Up , WALL BOUNCE, R2 (Level 2)
"Simple BnB (Down )" - Down , Down , Up 
"Simple BnB (Down /\)" - Down /\, 
"Spike RP's as Fat Princess's Knight" KILL COMBO - Air Side , Down , R2 (Level 2)
"Just Block and Punish the Knight, Stupid!" KILL COMBO - Air Side  (Charged), GUARD BREAK (they must be blocking), X (shorthop), Down /\, R2 (Level 1)
"B-LAUNCHER NEEDS A NERF" KILL COMBO - Down O (Green), X, /\, Side O (Charged), /\, Down , Down /\, X, Down /\, R2 (Level 1)
I'll always accept inspiration for this section. I'm not a big combo guy, but I have looked at BlazedCarbon's video, PersonaWorld's video, and went into practice for a few hours.
LEVEL 1 CONFIRMS:
Fully charged Over O
/\ if they are within range
O (Mash only enough to get all the spins without the charge)
Shorthop Down /\
LEVEL 2 CONFIRMS:
All of the Level 1 Confirms PLUS:
Regular jump Down /\
MY THOUGHTS ON STRATEGY
With so many ranged tools at his arsenal, Spike is most likely played best as a keepaway character. That being said, He can go to town with the closer ranged moves on flat-out better zoners than him. Spike requires a good predicting of the opponent's move more than most other characters, since his speed and supers on their own are a bit lacking. The player has to keep in mind, "Which move correlates with which hitbox?". It is easy to forget about moves like the Slingback Shooter and Hula Hoop when they are 100% situational. But, if all of Spike's arsenal isn't being used, he will absolutely suffer.
What I generally do (Just a suggestion):
WARNING: DO NOT SPAM THESE TACTICS AS THEY ARE VERY PREDICTABLE. THIS IS JUST A START.
AT THE START - Set up bananas and as soon as they are gone set them back up.
IF THEY RUN AWAY (Not a zoner) - If the opponent goes to the other side, I break out the RC Car and bait them over.
IF THEY RUN AWAY (Zoner) - I air dodge, roll, teleport behind camp, and use the safe B-Launcher to set up something.
IF THEY PURSUIT YOU - I either air dodge and teleport or try a basic stun club combo right off the bat... usually the former because, if they are charging, they probably have something in mind for me.
IF THERE ARE TRAPS - Air down-square, Ground down-triangle, Bananas all can kill most traps (Electic pad, mine, other bananas, etc).
IF THEY ARE JUMP-HAPPY - I keep using up-square until I force them to stop.
IF THEY ARE ON A PLATFORM - Slingback shooter if it's high, up-square if it's low.
IF THEY KEEP DESTROYING BANANAS - Well, they have to be using a move to get rid of it, so that leaves them open for a moment. Simple enough.
(Again, if anyone would want to help me with this part, it would be appreciated)
Ordering is the rank of intensity, very top being the worst and very bottom the best. Again, this is imo
Ratchet and Clank
Sir Daniel Fortesque
Jak and Daxter
If you are confused, have any questions, or just want to see my Spike or any other character in action, I am free for 1v1s when I am on PSN. It's SROVRSTRM.
"The Dirty Casual"
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Good guide, maybe I will update my Sackboy one soon.
Also, you like my Spike level 2 confirm in BlazedCarbon's video? The one I did gave him 95 ap to.
Yea, that's why it's in the thread
I saw that and went "Watttt Spike isn't supossed to have a 95 AP into superrrrrrrrrrrrr"
Coincidentally, I'm trying to pick up Sackboy since he appears to be the only EC counterpick besides Ratchet and FP, both of which I suck with terribly. I'm not too good with Sackboy yet, but I can see the tools, and have since the day of the nerf. Literally, the only combo I can muster is sq, sq, up sq, up triangle, and I know that's terrible even for a zoner, but I'm almost certain that's a portion of one of his better combos. Bleh I don't know
I will check these out, I'm trying to main Spike (after all Ape Escape is my first ever PS game!), so thanks for the guide And I'm curious on seeing you beat the ding out of me And learning from it.
No problem. Ape Escape was one of my first games too, but I got mad at having to use dual joysticks and went back to Twisted Metal But, no, analog sticks are amazing to me now. The D-Pad gives me blisters in 10 minutes tops...
"The Dirty Casual"
Questions and concerns about the thread welcomed as well.
"The Dirty Casual"