I just started playing dead rising but i suck balls right now because the zombies kill me very fast. it takes me forever to level up and get stronger so anyone got any tips on how to not die and actually level up
You are making the same mistakes as me. You SHOULD die. You don't lose your level, you get to start a new game at that level. If you try to beat the game the first time through without dying you are going to make life very stressfull. Of course if you are up to the challenge more power to you.
I got a car and went to the parking garage to get a few levels before I really started in on the story. I am level 20ish or so and I can still have problems at night. Just remember that it's ok to die, repetition of the content lets you get used to it so you know what you need to do. The higher level you are the easier it becomes and ultimatly the more you see.
There are a few useful hidden weapons I'll point out for you. In paradise plaza: from the restaurant on the second story, jump over the rail right next to the juice to get a katana. From the stairs near that same restaurant(the ones closer to the warehouse), jump on top of the kids stores sign. Follow the sign covers to the end to find a SMG.
There are two more SMGs. One in the fountain at al fresca plaza, and one on top of a chef statue in the food court. There may be more, but those are the ones I can remember right now.