In the beginning of the game, after you exit the elevator, head to the "green room" and you'll find a backpack and handheld game system. This is a reference to Chuck Greene's daughter, Katey Greene. She was supposed to wait in the "green room" for her father's return in "Dead Rising 2".
The psychopath boss, Evan Maclntyre, is the brother of the clown boss, Adam Maclntyre, from the first game in the series. Spoiler:Both get killed by their own weapons, and while fighting Evan he says "Now YOU'RE the walking punchline.", referencing Adam, who refers to himself as a "walking punchline".
If Frank West runs out of health or time in the stadium, Skylar will help by carrying him to the safe house. This doesn't work for Chuck Greene in Dead Rising 2.
There is a cardboard cutout of Protoman, a character from the Mega Man series, in fortune city.
Most of the unobtainable weapons, shields and masks on display in the shop "Ned's Knicknackery" are from the Capcom game Shadow of Rome. A sequel to Shadow of Rome was scrapped early in development, and the assets from it were used to develop the game that would become Dead Rising.
The Weed Tendonizer weapon pays homage to the film Machete, in which the main character, Machete, makes the same weapon.
An 8-bit sprite of Mega Man appears on the heels of the Protoman outfit.
Exclusive to the Yucatan is a "Mega Man 10" slot machine, playing the same Sound Effects from the game. It also pays considerably more money than the rest of the slots.
It is possible to unlock Protoman's (from the Mega Man series) armor as an outfit.