So in regards to my last post on this topic it appears that Google have now forced the change and have taken away the ability to change it back. So I've found a few other methods that should allow something similar to starting up on the Apps page at least. If you want to add one of the redirection addon you can do so and I will link the one after the jump.
This is simple enough to find in the setting page, nothing as fancy as last time you can set the On Startup to go to "chrome://apps" on the other side you can also set the home button to go to the same page although I feel like that is no much different from the Apps shortcut in the bookmark bar.
If that is all that's needed then you're good. If you want the apps page to open on a new tab then you will need to use a redirector extension. I use the New Tab Redirect! which appears to do the job with to do the job but will also allow for other pages. I have seen reports of it messing with omnibar searching but that is apparently due to chrome developer restrictions.